One can only wonder what Kevin Chappell was thinking as he stood over an eight-foot putt on the 18th green on Sunday.
On six prior occasions, he had faced exactly the same circumstances in his PGA Tour career and had come up short. Nobody enters a contest, athletic or otherwise, to finish second. This time, Chappell sank the putt and with it touched off a victory celebration at the VALERO TEXAS OPEN at San Antonio as big as the State itself.
They say that the first win is the toughest and the adage held true for Chappell. Brooks Koepka, a member of the 2016 Ryder Cup squad that finally wrested the trophy from the Europeans after a long drought, finished a mere one stroke back. In fact, Koepka was better than the winner on Sunday, carding a 65 for the fourth round to Chappell’s 68. At 18, the “bridesmaid” on this day actually tied Chappell as the eventual Champion walked up the 18th fairway.
So the stage was set. Chappell looking for his first victory and Koepka looking for just his second career win.
Eight feet later, the “bridesmaid” became a “bride.”