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September 23, 2016

Kevin Chappell

Atlanta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started. Kevin Chappell, second round 68. Just a couple of comments on how the course is playing out there today. A little tough still.

KEVIN CHAPPELL: Man, that front nine is really easy, I guess. No, the course is in great shape. Penal if you're not hitting it in the fairways. It's gettable, but you've got to be really patient.

I hit it pretty good on the back nine, or had some good looks. It's rare you get a straight putt, and when you do, I constantly catch myself second-guessing it because you see putts with so much break out here, especially when you get it close to pin high on some of these holes.

Proud of the way I hung in there and look forward to the weekend.

Q. You and Dustin have a little bit of separation going into the weekend, but given how difficult the golf course is playing, how difficult is it going to be not to kind of watch him and start playing against Dustin and not looking at the rest of the board?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I promise you, I will be watching Dustin. He's the best player in the world right now, and it's an opportunity for me to see where my game is. There's a golf tournament going on, and I have a chance to win that. That's the ultimate goal. But I also have a chance to see why he's the best player in the world right now, and I look forward to taking advantage of that opportunity.

Q. I know everybody's good out here, but the chances you've given yourself to win this year, it's always a good week for Rory or Jason, now Dustin. Can't you pick someone else?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, it seems like I like going against the hot player at the time. But maybe the third time's the charm.

Q. Just curious, I know there's a ton at stake, but is there a sense of really you have nothing to lose this week? You know what I mean? You can free wheel it?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: What do you mean by "there's a ton at stake"?

Q. Well, all these guys come in top five, and a guy like you, looking at Dustin Johnson and they're thinking of Rory and this and that, and all of a sudden here comes Kevin, had a great year, and you can just let it go like, you know, you don't feel like the pressure's on you?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: For me, I looked at it as it's a 30-man field, and you've got to beat 30 guys. Your odds get better only having to beat 30 as opposed to 156, although it is the 30 best players on the Tour right now.

But I don't feel like it's any different than any other golf tournament. Good golf gets its way to the top of the leaderboard, and my game's good. I'm not going to go anywhere. I'm just going to keep trying to do what I'm doing and what I've been doing and see what happens.

Q. It's been such a struggle out there. Is this feeling like a U.S. Open, or what can you compare this week to because the rough is tough and scores aren't? You're playing great, and the scores aren't like super low at all.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, it's a narrow golf course, and the rough is unpredictable. You'll get times where you might be able to hit wood out of it, and there's times you struggle to pitch out. I've been fortunate the few times I've hit it in the rough, I've been able to advance it or read the lie properly to lay it up or missing in the fairway bunkers is really nice this week because you can play it out of them here.

But as far as the feel, the course is still fairly soft. You're not seeing balls run and bounce, which, I think, we're fortunate because of that, because it would play even harder. But it's just not easy to make putts when greens have that much slope, and with the rough up, it's hard to get the ball in the right position.

Q. Do you have any idea when you're going to play good?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Do I have any idea when I'm going to play good? Yeah, I think I do. I think there's something to be said for not having expectations. I'll be honest, I had a terrible preparation for this week. I was hitting it awful. And I played 18 holes on Wednesday, played the back nine first, and it was like how am I going to hit a fairway? Then I made the turn and ran into a rep, and he had a golf ball for me that he wanted me to test, and I said, You know, I need to bring some excitement to this practice round. I need to play nine more holes and see the golf course, but also I need to figure out how I'm going to play this week with some game.

Played nine holes with this different piece of equipment, and I don't know if that brought excitement or what, but I didn't miss a shot for nine holes. And not playing that piece of equipment that was given to me. I think it was just -- it broke the monotony of another practice round, another week and the 30th event of the year, whatever it is for me, and kind of put me in a good place.

So I would -- if you would have asked me at 10:00 on Wednesday how I was going to play, I would have said look at the bottom half of the field. If you'd have asked me at 1:00 on Wednesday, I would have thought I'd be right where I'm at.

Q. And if we were to ask you what the piece of equipment was, you would say?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: It was a golf ball.

Q. Ryder Cup on your mind at all? Just curious.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No. You guys probably had more conversations with Davis Love III than I have. Because of that, it's not -- I'd love to be on the team. I'd love to have the opportunity. But just due to the lack of communication, I've kind of put it out of the back of my mind.

Q. What's been the best part of your season?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: In terms of my game or --

Q. Your game.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I guess the streaks have been longer. There's no -- it's obvious that, when I'm good, I'm good. Sometimes that goes away quickly. I might play nine good holes in a tournament, it gets me near the lead, and it slowly goes away.

But this year it's been I'll play 36 really good holes. I've made one bogey around here in two days.

I don't know if anyone else has done that, but I feel really good about that. I've been able to keep momentum when I've had it. I think that goes to -- I got to give credit to my short game and improving that, but also making sure that my ball striking is always where it needs to be because I've learned that you rely on your strengths, and if your strengths aren't at their average, then it's going to be really hard to compete out here.

Q. Joe, your caddie, I'm a little bit confused. Was he like an assistant at UCLA, or just a guy that hung out at UCLA?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Honestly, I should have answered the question with Joe, the previous question. But Joe really turned my year around. He came and worked for me at L.A., and it was kind of a trial period.

My relationship with Joe is he grew up with one of my college roommates, and Joe got the college experience without taking a class. Was a good player, or is a good player himself, played on the Canadian Tour and then kind of started working in a pro shop. Then he grew up in the same town as Max Homa. Worked for Max Homa for a few years. Max didn't keep his card, and Joe didn't want to work on Web.com, so Joe was back working in that pro shop.

I really need to have fun out there. I need to be distracted from what I'm doing. There's something to be said for that friend you've done some of the dumbest things in your life with and how much fun you guys can have together, and we continue to probably do some of those dumb things on the golf course, but we really have a blast and it keeps me entertained.

Q. You're not going to tell us the equipment, can you tell us some of the stories with Joe?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Plead the Fifth.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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