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October 22, 2011

Kevin Chappell


THE MODERATOR: Okay. We welcome Kevin Chappell into the interview room after a fine 6-under 66. Right now tied for the lead with Justin Leonard. You had four birdies there on the back side, and a very nice round to move into contention. Earlier this year Kevin tied for second at the Valero Texas Open and tied for third at the United States Open at Congressional. Talk in general about your round and then take us through it if you could.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Besides the first hole, it was pretty easy. Had a lot of 10, 15-footers all day and been putting it good. And was very stress free.
Obviously making bogey on 1 is not what you want, but felt like I got a bad break. Hit a flier from the right rough over the green and hit a poor pitch and got up-and-down for bogey actually, and then bounced right back, made a good putt on 2. Didn't birdie the par-5.
THE MODERATOR: What did you hit into 2 and how long?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I hit 9-iron from 135. Kind of trying to hold it up against the wind. And then disappointing not to birdie 4. Felt like I had a good opportunity there, but then to steal one at 5, not a hole you would typically expect to make birdie. But caught a good lie on the left rough, hit a flier again, but controlled it, went out to about eight feet and rolled it in.
And then -- what was my other birdie? 7. I hit it in the right rough again actually and hit sand wedge to 12 feet from 110 yards and made it going down the hill. And then good two-putt on 8, actually hit it right in the middle of the fairway, had 110 yards in and flat chunked it from the middle of the fairway and I was on the front edge of the green, two-putted from about 60 feet.
And then on 10, got up-and-down from just short of the green, a little bump up the hill. And then hit it close on 11 and missed and was a little discouraged, felt like the putt probably should have gone in, and birdied 12, 13, 14 making 12-footers on all of them.

Q. (Indiscernible).
KEVIN CHAPPELL: 14, the par-5 I hit driver down the middle. I hit 3-wood from 269 to the left side of the green, about pin high and ran it about 10 feet by and made a comebacker.
And then -- you know, that's kind of where the course gets into the meat of it, 15, 16, 17, 18, and I was able to give myself three good looks on 16, 17 and 18, and just missed on 18, probably the one I should have made.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll just go to questions.

Q. Talk about what you were trying to accomplish here this week. Taking the week off. Anything specifically you're trying to work on or just trying to win?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: For me, I was set in stone that I wasn't going to play here after missing the cut at Frys. I was content being done, and then I took the week off, kind of relaxed a little bit and said I would like to end my year on a good note, try and build some momentum going into 2012.
So that's the reason. And there's all sorts of incentives with our contracts; get in the Top 70, get in the Top 30. So there's another goal.

Q. Does it help that you're 83rd on the Money List? Do you think it helps that you have no --

Q. -- pressure even?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah. It definitely does. I've talked about that a lot with my caddie this week how much it would be bothersome to see the projected money earnings out there about every other hole. Sure glad I don't see my name up there.

Q. And after this week's over, when is the next time you play golf?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Probably play at Callaway Invitational. But then after that not till Sony Open.

Q. Do you feel a difference or can you see a difference between yourself and the guys that are kind of fighting for 125, 150, that kind of thing?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, you know, but you get both ends of the spectrum. You have your guys that are trying to get in that Top 30 that are within two or three spots. And then obviously Webb and Luke Donald, I haven't seen them working too hard, but I'm sure they both are trying to win the golf tournament or do what they need to do to get that No. 1 spot on the Money List. And then you have the guys down at the bottom of the Money List that are trying to get in the 150, 200 or 125 and so you see kind of a hodgepodge of guys that are working and then kind of the guys in the middle that are pretty relaxed.

Q. Being on the other side of the spectrum scrambling, trying to make your card, being on that projected list, can you almost take a deep breath being able to play like you are this week and not having to worry about it?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, absolutely. I can go out there much more relaxed. I have nothing to lose. I've had some great amateurs partners this week. I've been trying to grill them this week. Carlos Pena and then Jerome Bettis and trying to kind of pick their brains on how they can stay fresh throughout their season, especially Carlos. You know, he had to play 162 games. We play 26 to 30 events a year, and I was kind of asking him what do you do to feel fresh every day, because that's something I've struggled with all year is trying to go play a tournament and feel like I just came from home, you know, and maybe you've been on the road for seven weeks.
And Carlos said, "when I don't try, that's when I have my good games." Went to the U. S. Open, didn't have any expectations, hadn't played good until San Antonio, just try to let it go. Oh, okay. Maybe there's a correlation there. And so far so good.

Q. How do you think San Antonio will serve you tomorrow?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Well, obviously San Antonio I never -- didn't have the lead after Saturday or Sunday. So I didn't have to sleep on it. I don't know what's going to happen here. That would be a different circumstance, but just coming down the stretch I felt comfortable there and kind of felt the same way today. Although it's Saturday, I felt like I was controlling my golf ball nicely and hitting the putts consistently, you know, whether it was hole 1 or 18.

Q. Give us a grade for your year on Saturday at the Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Do you want my emotional grade or my nonemotional grade?

Q. Emotional grade.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I feel like it's been an average year for me. C plus. Obviously I've accomplished things that if you would have said at the beginning of the year you're going to accomplish this, would you be happy, yes. I'm stoked to be playing in the Masters and the U. S. Open next year, keeping my card, but the consistency hasn't been there, and being a perfectionist and striving to be better, I can never be happy with finishing -- being 83rd on the Money List at this point.

Q. What day did you play with Carlos? What changed your attitude from that day to the next at all?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: A little bit. I played with Carlos Thursday, and we kind of hit it off right away, and we started chatting about traveling and how we deal with that, and that's when I asked him about that, maybe in the first five holes.
And I kind of came here with a relaxed attitude anyway, but having that conversation with him kind of hit home, and obviously my game was in good shape. So I just kind of had to get out of my own way and allow it to happen.

Q. You mentioned being a perfectionist, and I'm sure that is very tough to get to mesh with relaxing and getting out of your own way. How are you working with that?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Trying not to be a perfectionist, I guess. Setting expectations at a reasonable level, and putting them where you feel like you can exceed them, and that way I'm a perfectionist towards those goals that I've sat. But if I can exceed them, great. Mission accomplished.
All the other goals have been to get a win. And put myself in position. I didn't care if it was the first event of the year, last event of the year. I gave myself a chance, so that's the goal going out tomorrow.

Q. I'm curious, since that's one of your conversations that you've talked about being fatigued, tired. Did that play into your season at all? Was there a point in your season where you felt like you hit rock bottom physically?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah. I played 11 of 12 weeks starting at Zurich, I think. Yeah. 11 of 12 weeks starting at Zurich. And my game was good at the U. S. Open, and then you can tell I went missed cut, T72, and I took three weeks off. And my game should have been in great shape coming off of the U. S. Open. And go to Hartford, and that was actually a long week with rain delays and stuff like that. And I felt drained after that.
Played Philadelphia, played okay and then took three weeks off right around the 4th of July and tried to kind of recharge my battery, get things going. Played Canada and Greenbrier back to back trying to push to get into the PGA and still didn't feel like I was there.
You know, Canada was a fun week, had friends and family there, but still didn't feel like I was energized, and played Wyndham trying to improve my number for the PLAYOFFS and played two events in the PLAYOFFS, kind of lackluster, and I didn't do anything until Vegas, didn't practice too much, didn't -- you know, I moved into a house. I was more worried about that. And that's where I felt like I got recharged.
And actually played pretty nice at Justin Timberlake, had some issues finishing some rounds, but thought going into Frys I would play well, and just kind of average week with the putter, missed the cut.
So I just came here with not much expectation, but for me I think the key point was taking the three weeks off after AT & T trying to get recharged and then realizing that didn't even work. So for me next year, depending on what happens here, I'll look at my schedule and really try and feel fresh each week.

Q. Do you feel like (inaudible)?

Q. Starting off the year as a rookie, if someone said to you, Justin Leonard, what do you think of him?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Those flimsy Polo hats he used to wear. (Laughs). And obviously a journeyman, a guy that had a great career and kind of has fallen from where he was. But someone that I definitely respect and would take his career right now if he'd give it to me.
THE MODERATOR: Anything else? Continued good luck, Kevin. Thanks.

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