Kevin Chappell birdied the final hole at TPC San Antonio to finish one clear of Brooks Koepka and claim his maiden PGA Tour victory in the Valero Texas Open.
Kevin Chappell fired a final round of 68 at TPC San Antonio to post a 72-hole total of 12-under-par. That was one better than second placed Brooks Koepka and it earned Chappell a first PGA Tour title in his 180th start on the circuit.
On the 605-yard par-5 18th, Brooks Koepka considered going for the green in two but he eventually put the 3-wood back in his bag and laid up. He then fired to within just a few feet of the pin and knocked in the putt for a birdie and a superb final round of 65.
At that stage, Koepka was tied for the lead with Chappell but Chappell was still out on the course. He fired an excellent third shot to the green and holed from eight feet to take the win by a single shot.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Chappell. “Brooks kept me honest out there today. He made me had to do it the right way. There wasn’t any question I was going to make 4 (birdie) and win the golf tournament.”
3 Talking points from the Valero Texas Open
1 – This was Kevin Chappell’s first PGA Tour title in his 180th event on the circuit. He had been runner-up six times and he was delighted to get the victory.
“A big relief,” the 30-year-old said. “There’s been quite the monkey on my back for some time now about getting that first win. And to take that off and not have to answer those questions anymore is nice.”
2 – Brooks Koepka was left to rue a second round of 74. He had wanted to go for the green on the last in two with a 3-wood to try and make eagle and get to 12-under but eventually decided to lay up. He had 293 yards to the flag.
“I really wanted to go for it,” he said. “Buy Ricky my caddy pulled the reins and we laid up. I think it was a god thing we did…. It was the second round that killed us.”
3 – It was a disappointing week for Ian Poulter. The Englishman had needed to earn just over $30,000 from the tournament to keep his PGA Tour playing rights after playing on a medical exemption but he missed the cut at TPC San Antonio. Despite losing his card, Poulter was remaining positive.
“It doesn’t mean you’re never going to see me again,” he said. “You don’t get to number five in the world and help lift Ryder Cups and disappear, you come back stronger and more determined.”
Ian Poulter swing analysis:
Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
Purse: $6,200,000 Par: 72
1 Kevin Chappell (USA) 69 68 71 68 276 $1,116,000
2 Brooks Koepka (USA) 68 74 70 65 277 $669,600
T3 Tony Finau (USA) 71 65 74 69 279 $359,600
T3 Kevin Tway (USA) 70 68 72 69 279 $359,600
5 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 69 70 73 68 280 $248,000
T6 Brian Gay (USA) 68 72 71 70 281 $200,725
T6 Sung Kang (Kor) 69 70 74 68 281 $200,725
T6 Ryan Palmer (USA) 74 68 68 71 281 $200,725
T6 Cameron Smith (Aus) 72 65 73 71 281 $200,725
T10 Bud Cauley (USA) 70 66 74 72 282 $155,000
T10 Branden Grace (RSA) 66 73 70 73 282 $155,000
T10 Camilo Villegas (Col) 73 70 69 70 282 $155,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage