Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Chappell’

Junior Golf: This Win Can Motivate Your Junior Golfer

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at the winner of The 2017 Valero Texas Open. His path to a victory has been long and filled with a number of curves. Let’s see how this particular win can become an excellent motivator for your child.

photocredit:jennleforge.com

Golf is very competitive at all levels. Whether your son/daughter is 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years old, there are plenty of golfers who can play as well or better than he can. One of the things S3 learned at a young age was that there were maybe a dozen guys in our area that he would be competing with for his whole junior golf, and to a degree, in his college golf career. And you know what, that’s a good thing.

1st off he became great friends with several of these guys and 2nd off he learned that on any given day anyone in this group, including himself, could beat any and all the rest of the group. It was great competition for a number of years. Yes, it was wonderful! And learning that he/she as in your son/daughter, can come back and beat somebody, perhaps more than 1, that beat him/her in the previous tournament is a fantastic life lesson!

So let’s take a look at Kevin Chappell. He had a great amateur career. I’m not sure if you would call him a phenom, but he functioned at high levels in some very rarified amateur air! He turned professional in 2008 and had 1 win on the then, Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour. 

photocredit:stevedykes

He earned his PGA Tour card for 2011 and started his career on the big boy pro circuit. Kevin had some success with enough earnings and placements to keep his PGA Tour card and maintain some status in certain events. A win, as in his 1st win on the PGA Tour, was hard to come by. A couple of 2nd’s, a playoff loss, so close, yet so far away! How on earth does a person keep coming back after being in reach of the gold ring and falling short, time after time? Man, it’s tough!

Psychologically, there’s a lot going on. A couple of major points are that Kevin had won golf tournaments before, he just had not won at this very highest level. So he knew he could win, he just hadn’t done it yet. And next, he believed in himself enough to keep getting back up after being knocked down, knowing that at some point a victory would be his.

Persistence overcomes resistance! Please Dad and Mom, learn this phrase and help every one of your family members ingrain it into their minds. This is one of the great truths of life! There is some debate over whether the 2017 VTO was Kevin’s 180th, 181st or 182nd PGATour start and it really doesn’t matter here. The point is that this 30 year-old teed his golf ball up in at least 180 events on the PGA Tour before he logged his 1st win. 

This is a classic example of persistence overcomes resistance. How many times did Kevin Chappell have to get back up after being knocked down? That’s what competition is about. That’s what life’s about! Come on Folks, this is great stuff! The tears in his and his wife’s eyes as they stood on the 18th green were a great testimony to sheer persistence.

A great takeaway for your junior golfer is Kevin’s response to an announcer’s question of, “How was today’s round different from your other final rounds where you didn’t pull out the win?” To paraphrase Kevin, “I was calm all day.” And when asked about the 8’2” birdie putt he made to beat Brooks Koepka by 1-shot, Kevin said, “I definitely had more nerves.” Meaning he had more control over his nerves than in a couple of previously events where he left potentially winning putts well short. This putt, however, went right into the center of the cup and Kevin won! No playoff! Congratulations Kevin on your 1st PGA Tour victory! 

See you on #1 tee looking persistent, believing in yourself and having a calm control of your nerves… Sam

Junior Golf: Amazing Finish But I ‘m Also Sad

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at the amazing finish to The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. And as great as that was I’m also sad that my #1 sports hero of all-time, Arnold Palmer, passed away. I’ll share some of our family’s personal memories with The King on Wednesday. Today let’s look at what happened in Atlanta!image

Sunday began with most of the golf pundits just about ready to concede both events to DJ, Dustin Johnson. Why not, he was playing well, had a great year and just needed a good final round and he would be very hard to beat. Well, guess what, golf happened! (photo jennleforge.com)

He played poorly, in fact, the worst round of the day for the 30-man field, a 73 and with 6 holes to play there was no way for him to win the TC. There were 3 guys who were fighting it out and it was great golf and exciting TV.

Kevin Chappell, was leading but a poor drive on #17 left him with a bogey. Being in the last pairing right behind Rory McIlroy and Ryan Moore, Kevin had some idea of what was happening ahead.

Let’s back up. Ryan was slowly catching Kevin all day long. DJ played poorly and was out of contention. Rory was a few shots back and was not a threat, yet. Well, Rory holed out for an eagle on #16 to seriously get back in it. He parred #17 and birdied #18 to finish -12. His playing partner Ryan finished 4, 3, 5 to also be -12. So Kevin went 3, 5, 5 to make it a 3-way tie at 12-under. Let the playoff begin.

Who could have won outright? The rough was notoriously tough and Chappell’s poor drive on #17 cost him a bogey. A par would have meant a win. An expensive shot. Ryan had maybe an 8-footer for a birdie on his 72nd hole that would have put him at 13-under par and an outright winner. He missed it and I think that was the only putt under 10-feet he missed all day! Wow!

Playoff holes were 18, 18, 15, 16, 17 and 18, sudden death! Rory hit a 360-yard drive on the 1st playoff hole leaving only 213 yards to the pin. He promptly hit his 2nd shot to 6 & 1/2 feet and it seemed like it was over. Kevin hit a poor approach and missed his birdie putt and he knew he was done. Ryan had almost the exact same putt he had missed just moments earlier and he stroked it right into the middle of the cup for a birdie, forcing Rory to make his eagle putt to win.

The announcers mentioned that Rory really wasn’t taking any time with the putt and he was just stepping up and hitting it. Perhaps he should have taken more time because he missed it. So he and Ryan played 18 again, then 15 and then the par 4 16th. After an awkward chip, Ryan made a 20-footer for a par. Rory had 14 & ½ feet for his birdie and he made it! Had Kevin or Ryan won the tournament, DJ would have won the FedEx Cup. Rory, by winning the last event of the year also won the FEC, congratulations, Rory! (photo pga.com)

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It was amazing to watch. I mean Kevin Chappell went 66, 68, 68, 66 and finished 3rd. That’s great golf on a tough course! Ryan Moore kept making shots and would not make a bogey. And he made a ton of putts. Fabulous grit and determination! And Rory, who at some point must have known that he would have to win it because Ryan was not going to hand the victory to him, hit 1 more great shot than Ryan to claim his win on the 4th playoff hole!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Every shot counts. Never give up. Give your best effort on every shot every time. Take a breath. Enjoy the thrill of the moment because these moments are rare.

See you on #1 tee ready to give your best effort on every shot… Sam

Tour Championship Begins

And they’re off! The best 30 players on the PGA Tour have day 1 of The Tour Championship under their belt. And there were some surprises. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Hideki Matsuyama shot a 66 to tie for the lead with Kevin Chappell and pre-event favorite Dustin Johnson. The low 11 scores feature plenty of high-powered players including Jason Day 1 shot back, then Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy 2 shots back and finally Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar 3 shots back.

Notables who were in the back of the 30-man field were Bubba Watson at 2-over par, Patrick Reed at 3-over par and Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker, 4-over par. There are still 54 holes of golf to play, no 36-hole cut. The time to start shooting better scores would be now.

1 of the strategic truths of golf tournaments is that you can’t win an event during the 1st round but you can lose it. This means that if you shoot a terribly high score, putting too many strokes between you and the leaders, you have given yourself a slim to no chance to catch up and possibly take the lead.

This is an interesting field. Maybe ⅓ have won Majors/been on Ryder Cup teams/have won multiple events, about ⅓ have won maybe 1 event/no Majors or Ryder Cup but have been relatively successful and perhaps ⅓ who are young and very talented trying to elevate their success and status.

While statistically almost anyone in the field could win, the history is different. Look at the previous winners. Big names! Dominant players either historically or for the year they won. Billy Horschel is perhaps the only up-and-coming player to win and he put together a smoking hot final month of play culminating with winning The Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. He just wasn’t going to be stopped!

 

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If we can skip ahead to Sunday and look at the leaderboard before the final round begins, keep in mind what the great Jack Nicklaus said about competition during final rounds of big events. To paraphrase Jack, “I’d look at the leaderboard to see who had a chance to win. The guys who had never won a Major or big event I didn’t pay much attention to them because the pressure was too great. It was the guys who had won Majors or multiple Majors that I had to keep an eye on. They’d already done it. They’d been there.” (photo bmw-golfsport.com)

Encourage your junior golfer to stay calm and keep big numbers off the scorecard during Round 1. A bogey here and there is just fine, but the doubles, triples and quads are round killers, if not even tournament killers. There’s a time for high risk shots but remember that there are only a few pros who go for everything all the time. Safe shots are a good thing!

Set the TiVo. This should be good!

See you on #1 tee looking for the safe zone… Sam

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