Chappell finally claims first PGA Tour victory

Kevin Chappell has been trying to win on the PGA Tour almost from the time he left UCLA in 2008 and it finally happened.

The 30-year-old Chappell, from Fresno, sank an eight-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to complete a 4-under-par 68 and beat Brooks Koepka by one stroke in the Valero Texas Open on the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.

“It’s just a big relief for me,” said Chappell. who won in his 180th start on the circuit. “I don’t have to answer that question anymore. I feel like I have a base to kind of jump off from with my career moving forward.

“It couldn’t happen at a better place for me. Just hit me that my first-ever PGA Tour start was at the Valero Texas Open back in 2008, so this event is very special and definitely had me motivated to get a win here.”

Chappell, whose only other pro victory came in the 2010 Fresh Express Classic at TPC Stonebrae on the Tour, finished at 12-under 276 and became a PGA Tour winner after finishing second six times — including in the 2011 Valero Texas Open.

Koepka, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, sank a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to cap a 65 and held the clubhouse lead until Chappell holed his winner.

Tony Finau made a charge with five late birdies and was one stroke out of the lead before hitting into the creek that guards the final green for the third time in four rounds. He closed with a bogey 6 to shoot 69 and wound up three shots back in a tie for third with Kevin Tway, who also had a 69.

Aaron Baddeley of Australia shot 68 and was another stroke behind in solo fifth, while Sung Kang of South Korea also totaled 68 and was six down in a tie for sixth with Brian Gay, who recorded a 70, and Cameron Smith of Australia and Ryan Palmer, who both finished at 71.

Brendan Grace of South Africa, the first-round leader at 66, struggled to a 73 and finished seven behind in a tie for 10th with Camilo Villegas of Colombia, who had a 70 and Bud Cauley, who came in at 72.


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