Final-Round Notes – Sunday, April 23, 2017
Weather: Sunny skies with an afternoon high of 74. Wind N 10-20 mph, diminishing late in the day.
Kevin Chappell 69-68-71-68—276 (-12)
Brooks Koepka 68-74-70-65—277 (-11)
Kevin Tway 70-68-72-69—279 (-9)
Tony Finau 71-65-74-69—279 (-9)
Aaron Baddeley 69-70-73-68—280 (-8)
Twenty-six players began the final round at or within five strokes of the lead, the most since the Farmers Insurance Open in February, when there were 33. Nine players finished within five strokes of the winning score.
The highest winning 72-hole totals this season;
279 (-9), Sergio Garcia, Masters Tournament
277 (-11), Marc Leishman, Arnold palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
276 (-12), Kevin Chappell, Valero Texas Open
275 (-13), Jon Rahm, Farmers Insurance Open
With Brooks Koepka staying warm on the range after posting 11-under, Chappell faced an 89-yard pitch shot at the final hole knowing he needed to get up and down for the win. Koepka had the identical shot just 30 minutes earlier, hitting to three feet and holing the putt for birdie. Chappell’s pitch ended eight feet from the hole and when he rolled it in to post 12-under and claim his first TOUR title his celebration matched Charley Hoffman’s from the previous year.
Chappell earns his first career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 30 years, 9 months, 15 days in his 180th career start. Chappell is the seventh first time winner on TOUR this season.
With the win, Chappell collects 500 points and moves from No. 113 to No. No. 21 in the FedExCup standings.
Chappell has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs six consecutive years. Before the Valero Texas Open victory, Chappell had come close to winning on TOUR with six runner-up results in his career, including four last season. He finished 8th in the FedExCup last season.
Chappell becomes the fifth player in his 30s to win on the PGA TOUR this season, combining for seven wins.
Chappell joins Steve Bowditch (2014) and Brendan Steele (2011) as players to make the Valero Texas Open their first PGA TOUR win since the event moved to TPC San Antonio in 2010.
Chappell entered the final round with the solo lead and converted the win to become the 10th winner in 23 events this season who have carried the 54-hole lead/co-lead on to victory. It was the first occasion Chappell had held an outright lead after 54 holes on the PGA TOUR. He had been co-leader three times after the third round, with a T2 at the 2016 TOUR Championship his previous-best finish.
Chappell becomes the seventh first-time winner in the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season.
With the win, Chappell is off the list of players with a high number of starts without a victory. Current players on that list include Brian Davis (346 starts), Jeff Overton (293), Chris Stroud (278) and Brendon De Jonge (276).
Chappell made his eighth appearance at the Valero Texas Open. His T2 in 2011 was his previous-best showing before the victory. He also finished T4 in 2016.
Chappell’s T7 at the Masters earlier this month was his first top-10 result this season and allowed him to improve 50 spots, to No. 109 on the FedExCup standings that week. He now sits No. 21 in the standings.
2016-17 starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 13-10-2-1
PGA TOUR career starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 180-117-21-1
Chappell’s stats for the week:
R1 – 9 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation, 29 putts.
R2 – 9 of 14 fairways, 10 of 18 greens in regulation, 25 putts.
R3 – 5 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens in regulation, 28 putts.
R4 – 10 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens in regulation, 30 putts.
Chappell’s Strokes Gained Summary (week):
Kevin Chappell Bio
FULL NAME: Kevin Alan Chappell
BIRTHDATE: July 8, 1986
BIRTHPLACE: Fresno, California
RESIDENCE: Fresno, California
FAMILY: Wife, Elizabeth; Wyatt (4/12/15), Collins (1/19/17)
TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2008
CLUB AFFILIATION: Fort Washington G&CC (Fresno, California)
Web.com Tour Graduate (2010)
JOINED TOUR: 2011
Brooks Koepka’s final-round 7-under 65 matched the tournament low for the week but left him one-stroke shy of a playoff when Kevin Chappell birdied the final hole to clinch victory. The runner-up finish was Koepka’s best result in his third appearance at the Valero Texas Open.
Before this week, Koepka had broken par just once at TPC San Antonio, with a 1-under 71 in the opening round of the 2014 event when he finished T36. He missed the cut last year in his only other appearance.
Koepka’s putting was exceptional this week, especially in the final round when he holed 121 feet of putts. He ranked 1st in putts per GIR with 93 on 54. The 54 of 72 GIR was also best of the week in that category. Here’s a look at Koepka’s putting this week;
Round Putts Total feet
R1 27 78’ 8”
R2 30 66’ 6”
R3 29 63’ 3”
R4 27 121’ 0”
Total 113 329’ 5”
This marked Koepka’s fourth runner-up finish on TOUR (2016 AT&T Byron Nelson, 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic, 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, 2017 Valero Texas Open).
En route to his lone PGA TOUR victory, Koepka came from three strokes back to win the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open by one shot. He began four strokes behind Chappell at TPC San Antonio.
In September last year, Koepka made his first-ever start at the Ryder Cup, going 3-1 in his four matches in the United States’ 17-11 victory at Hazeltine, including a dominating 5&4 singles victory over former Masters champion Danny Willet. His three-point total (tied with Brandt Snedeker) was second only to Patrick Reed’s 3 ½ points.
After four birdies in a five hole stretch on the back nine to get to 10-under, Tony Finau bogeyed the final hole after finding the water hazard with his third shot, dropping him into a T3 with Kevin Tway at 9-under.
In 2015, in his only previous appearance at the Valero Texas Open, Finau finished T68 with rounds of 79-69-76-77.
Finau entered the week No. 39 in the FedExCup standings and moved to No. 24 with his T3 this week. Finau has finished inside the top 50 in the FedExCup in the previous two seasons (45/2016, 43/2015).
Finau has recorded four top-10s in 14 starts this season (T9/SBS Tournament of Champions, T4/Farmers Insurance Open, 5th/Valspar Championship, T3/Valero Texas Open).
Finau claimed his first PGA TOUR win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.
Kevin Tway finished three storkes off the lead in T3 position. A win for Tway would have marked the 10th occasion on which a father/son combination had won on the PGA TOUR. Most recently, Kevin Stadler won the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Tway missed the cut in his only other appearance at the Valero Texas Open in 2014.
Tway has made 17 cuts in 44 starts on the PGA TOUR. This week’s T3 marked his first top-25 finish on TOUR. His previous best result was T26 at the 2014 Travelers Championship.
Tway secured his status for the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season with a T3 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship with a 4-under 67 in the final round. He was 19th in the final priority-ranking order.
Tway’s T3 at the Valero Texas Open marked his best result of the season in his 12th start. Before that, his best finish this season was T32 in his most recent start, at the Puerto Rico Open.
Tway owns one Web.com Tour victory, the 2013 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft.
Tway’s father, Bob, the 1986 PGA Championship winner, competed this week in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf in Missouri with teammate Tom Pernice, Jr. on PGA TOUR Champions. The duo finished T16.
Aaron Baddeley posted a final-round 4-under 68 for solo-fifth and his second top-10 of the season (T10/CIMB Classic). Baddeley was T3 in the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio in 2010 and solo- fifth at La Cantera GC in 2003. This is his 45th career top-10 finish in 372 starts on TOUR.
Sung Kang, who finished runner-up at the Shell Houston Open earlier this month, birdied his final three holes to shoot 4-under 68 and move into T6 at the Valero Texas Open. Sandwiched in between these two performances was a T11 at the RBC Heritage.
Playing out of the Past Champion category, four-time PGA TOUR winner Camilo Villegas posted a final-round 70 to finish T10 after opening the final round with five birdies in his first six holes. Villegas, playing on a sponsor exemption this week, was seeking to be the first sponsor exemption to win since Billy Hurley III at the 2016 Quicken Loans National. He entered the Valero Texas Open having missed the cut in his last five starts on TOUR. Villegas was runner-up to Mackenzie Hughes after being part of a five-man playoff at The RSM Classic earlier this season.
Defending champion Charley Hoffman shot 71-72-73-74 to finish T40 marking only the second time in 12 appearances where he has not recorded at least one round in the 60s during the week (2014/70-75-70-70). It also marked the second time that Hoffman has finished worse than T13 at this event (T70/2008).
Brendan Steele (T62), winner of the Safeway Open in this season’s opening event, continued the best current streak of most consecutive events in the money with 17.
Former Houston collegian Wesley McClain fired a 9-under 63 to lead the Monday qualifiers and advance to the Valero Texas Open, where he made the cut and finished T62. Just a few weeks ago, McClain also shot 63 to qualify for the Shell Houston Open where he finished 80th in his PGA TOUR debut.
Past Valero Texas Open champions in the field: Bob Estes (1994)/T27, Justin Leonard (2000, 2001, 2007)/T58, Brendan Steele (2011)/T62, Martin Laird (2013)/T18, Jimmy Walker (2015)/T13, Charley Hoffman (2016)/T40, Zach Johnson (2008, 2009)/MC, Steven Bowditch (2014)/MC, and Ben Curtis/2012/WD.
R1: Bob Estes (68), Adam Hadwin (70), Tom Hoge (68), John Huh (67), Steve Marino (68), Seung-Yul Noh (68), Geoff Ogilvy (69), Brendan Steele (70), Kevin Streelman (71), Steve Wheatcroft (70).
R2: Bud Cauley (66), Ben Crane (69), Brad Fritsch (69).
R4: Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (67).
Scoring Averages at TPC San Antonio:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
R1: 36.110 35.748 71.858 —
R2: 37.065 35.903 72.968 72.413
R3: 37.842 36.500 74.342 73.056
R4: 37.013 36.145 73.158 72.853
Outside of the first two rounds of the Masters Tournament earlier this month (74.978/R1, 74.742/R2), the 74.342 scoring average from found three at the Valero Texas Open is the highest average of any round this season.
Since 2010, the TPC San Antonio scoring average of 74.34 in the third round marked the fourth-highest scoring average of all rounds at TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks).
Year Round Score
2015 1 76.70
2011 2 75.29
2012 2 74.62
2017 3 74.34
2012 3 74.10
The par-4 ninth hole played the most difficult in the final round at 4.342. The par-5 14th played the easiest at 4.553. For the week, the par-4 fourth hole was the most difficult at 4.331, while the easiest hole for the week was the 14th at 4.669.