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September 24, 2016

Kevin Chappell

Atlanta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Kevin Chappell, for joining us. TOUR Championship, you're tied for the lead at 8 under after three rounds with Dustin Johnson. Just talk about your day. You chipped in at number 12. That was a bit of a highlight. Obviously, the birdie at 17 was critical.

KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, probably the most difficult round I played this week in terms of ball control and positions that I was in. But I really fought hard, and the chip-in at 12, as you saw, kind of got me fired up a little bit. I think that was the glue that kind of kept the round together.

I was able to find a little rhythm coming home, had some good looks. Obviously, made one on 17, and here we are.

THE MODERATOR: How was that feeling on 17 with the transition in the lead there?

KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, it's a little weird feeling happening on a Saturday. Just there's so much golf still to be played, but you can feel the energy in the crowd, and people get behind you.

When it comes down to it, every shot, whether it's on the 1st hole on Thursday or on the 17th hole today, it meant the same. So it was nice to knock it in.

Q. Since you're the one that brought up the David-Goliath analogy yesterday, did you feel like him today?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No. But Dustin didn't grow up too far from here, and it's definitely a home event for him and a pro-Dustin crowd. But I've always kind of been the underdog, so it's a role I'm comfortable in.

I stuck in my bubble. I know I gave him credit for being in his own bubble, but I tried to do a really good job of that today, and I feel like I did.

Q. You mentioned Dustin, playing with him. What is it like playing with him firsthand? You're seeing plenty of each other right now. What's that like?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Well, you've got to walk to your ball really quickly because you're hitting first. No, it's good. It's a comfortable pairing for me. I've known Dustin a long time, you know, back to amateur and college golf. Obviously, our careers have progressed through a different trajectory, but it's still good to get to play with him and kind of see where my game stands up against probably the hottest golfer in the world right now.

Q. Kevin, coming so close so many times this year, was it hard using that as motivation? Or was there ever a time where you had to wonder, will my time come? How does this keep happening to me?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I don't think I need any motivation more than the pressure I put on myself or the motivation I have that burns inside of me. But, yeah, coming close so many times this year and not getting a win yet, you know, it fuels me. I really look forward to taking those lessons I've learned from those experiences and applying them tomorrow and seeing what that adds up to.

Q. You told us yesterday that you were going to be somewhat of a fan out there as well as a competitor, watching Dustin. Did you find yourself doing that? And at what point did you say, Wait a minute, not only am I competitor, I'm really in this thing?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I mean, I was -- I watched most shots he hit and in awe of a lot of stuff he can do. The birdie he made on the last -- the tee shot he hit, where it ends up, and how he makes 4s is very Dustin. You know, that's not too many people who can do that.

He's a hell of a player, and I look forward to the battle tomorrow.

Q. What did you have on 18? Did you have any options?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I told Joe, my caddie, I said, If I was playing against you, I'm hitting the ball at the green, but I couldn't guarantee the direction or that it was going to fly. If it came out real muffy, it doesn't carry the lake. I hit some beautiful wedges all week and just like to take my chances there.

Obviously, I didn't hit a beautiful wedge, but I made 5, and that was that.

Q. I think you said earlier in the week that you weren't really thinking about the FedExCup because the scenarios didn't really play in your favor that much. Are you thinking about it any more now that it's --
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No, that scenario still -- has actually even gotten worse for me. I mean, he's tied for the lead. I still have to do my work, and he has to do his. I don't know what tenth place is, but he's going to have to fall all the way back down there. So, no, I haven't thought about it one time, but you keep reminding me. So thank you for that.

Q. A couple things. One of your signatures here has been chipping in. Have you figured out tomorrow which hole you're going to chip in yet on?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Anywhere, I'll take it.

Q. And the other signature has been playing with only one bogey through three rounds. Has this been as consistent as you've played ever?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah. I mean, I've played some beautiful golf, and I've eliminated some of the silly mistakes that tend to haunt me. The other thing I've done well is that my misses have been good. You know, I've missed it in the middle of greens as opposed to missing it short sided. I wouldn't say this is the best I've ever hit it or any of that, but the stats show I'm hitting a lot of greens and having a lot of looks.

It might be I'm trying to hit it 12 feet left of the hole and I get a 25-footer left of the hole. That's huge because you're able to build momentum from that type of stuff.

Q. For a guy who's still trying to win for the first time and have given yourself a number of good chances, does it help to be in this situation when there's a feeling that no one thinks you'll do it because of who you're playing?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, I mean, it is kind of like him asking me about the FedExCup. No one else thinks it's going to happen. The scenario hasn't happened. So no one believes in me. So I got nothing to lose. I'm going to go out there and give it all I've got, and Dustin's going to play great golf. He's been in this situation a lot this year, and it will come down to one or two shots.

Q. On both sides, not just him, but also you, was kind of the 17th hole a reminder of how quickly things could change?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, I think so. It kind of shows you how brutal the rough is here and how important it is to be in position. Also, how -- never give up, right? You're always in it, especially out here on this golf course. Pars are never hurting you no matter what someone else is doing because, at the end of the day, the averages say they're going to come back close to that par score.

Q. Just try and quantify for us what a victory here this week would mean to you personally.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I think it would validate some of the hard work I've put in, myself and my team. Even if tomorrow doesn't go the way I want it to, I'm really proud of the year I've had, and I can look back on the '15-'16 season as a great success, and it's taken me to places I've never been before.

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