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June 19, 2011

Kevin Chappell


Q. Beautiful round of golf out there. Just talk a little bit about what your expectations were coming in and what you were able to achieve. Pretty remarkable.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, it was fun. It was exciting to be here, first U.S. Open, couldn't happen in a better spot. I came in, I felt like my game was in a good spot.
I played three good rounds at the Memorial, didn't play too well on Sunday, and then played well to qualify for this event. I felt like my game was moving in the right direction. I've been working on the right things and was in a good spot. I had a good week off of rest last week and was excited to be here and excited to compete.

Q. Is it at all hard for you to believe that you might end up being the low American in this event?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No. I mean, you come in here, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could win the golf tournament. I'm sure you guys all think that's crazy, but we're all competitors, and that's what we show up to do. Being low American, that's great. I don't think the state of American golf is where everyone expects it to be, but I think it shows that someone like myself can play out here, and I think it's definitely going to end up going in the right direction here sometime soon.

Q. Putting nationalities aside, talk about the state of 20-something golf. Right now we're seeing 20-somethings out there, look what Louis did, look what Charl did, look at Rory, look what you did today. Do you think we're on the dawn of a new generation, guys coming up and taking control of the sport?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, I think we're learning that you can compete on both ends of the age spectrum. You have Tom Lehman probably playing as good of golf as anyone in the world right now. You have Matteo Manassero winning golf tournaments at 18, 19 years old. I think the golf ball doesn't know how old you are. I think it's a matter of competing and good golf is going to be good golf no matter what level you're playing it on.

Q. Is it sort of shocking how easy you guys are making it out there?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: It definitely wasn't easy, but I think they got a bad break with the weather. There was only one rain delay, I believe, all week, but it seemed to rain almost every night or be some moisture, and the golf course just played soft. I think we learned that lesson this week that soft greens lead to low scores. I mean, we can hit it to certain numbers pretty often. And you give us enough 15-footers, we're going to make some putts.

Q. Golf fans are just beginning to learn about you. Other than UCLA, what should they know?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Just someone that likes to have some fun. I don't have too many hobbies outside of golf, but I really enjoy my downtime. I enjoy hanging out with friends. I enjoy an adult beverage every now and then, and I like to relax and spend time with the people that mean the most to me.

Q. What do you like doing in your downtime?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Nothing. Nothing better than a good movie, a beer, hanging out with your loved ones.

Q. Might there be a relaxing beer tonight and kicking your feet up and reveling in what you were able to do?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, there's a lot to soak in. I don't know what the requirements are to get into the Masters and other majors for the rest of the year, but I've heard mutters that I might have done that, which is great. Hopefully lock up my card for next year, which is also a big relief, and just really try and enjoy it. I played some really good golf last three rounds, and I really do need to enjoy it.

Q. Did you sense, as the week was going on, that the galleries were more aware of who you were?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, yesterday playing with Phil, you're not going to get too many fans, but it's always nice to hear your cousin out there every now and then. That's what I was calling him yesterday.
But you know, it was fun to hopefully build some fans. There's nothing like playing in front of a crowd during a U.S. Open.

Q. Can you pick out one best shot or coolest shot that you were most proud of?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: The second shot into 18 was pretty good. I hit 6-iron from 196, and hadn't made a very good swing on the hole before and I knew if I made that swing it was going to be way in the water, so I just tried to erase the swing from 17 from my mind and make the best swing I could make, and I hit the shot right where I wanted to, and I really feel the ball could have got a lot closer to the hole than it did, but I was -- I didn't want to hit it over, that's for sure.

Q. How far was it then?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: It was 18 feet from the hole, but not really a makeable putt because of how much slope there was short of the hole.

Q. Rory is out there at 22 years old and he's tearing this golf course apart. Do you marvel at the scores he's been able to put up? Do you feel those scores were out there the way this golf course is playing?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I think the best round Rory played this week was on Thursday because it was fairly firm on Thursday and the scores showed it. That was the most impressive to me. You know, and then the course got soft. I thought the USGA did a good job keeping us on our toes, mixing tee boxes up, changing distances so you had to change your sight lines off tees and your club selection into greens. But obviously he's playing great golf, and you can't take that away from him. Good for him. It'll be good to be somewhat a part of history.

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