ORLANDO, Fla. – It's an odd way to find your game, but for Kevin Chappell, it appears to have worked.
"I played by myself last week on Sunday and had a blast," said Chappell, describing his final-round 71 at the Valspar Championship.
"I was Snapchatting my way around the golf course. I have like ten followers on Snapchat. It was hilarious. We were having fun with it. I started noticing shots coming out of the gun the right way, and I was like, 'Oh, wow, this is kind of fun.'"
Just one week later, after a third-round 67, Chappell finds himself tied for second place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, trailing leader and world No. 3 Jason Day by just two shots through 54 holes. Chappell will tee off in the second-to-last group on Sunday, alongside Henrik Stenson.
With the exception of his runner-up finish at the RSM Classic in November, it's been a frustrating season thus far for the 29-year-old who remains in search of his first PGA Tour win; he's missed three of nine cuts and finished T-62nd or worse three other times.
Chappell said Saturday that he injured himself while working out in the fall and ended up bedridden for 10 days. He made that start at the RSM with no expectations, opting to play just because he's always enjoyed Sea Island. He wound up outplaying everyone but champion Kevin Kisner.
After not totally healing from his injury, Chappell struggled again in the early part of 2016 and "really wasn't enjoying golf," he said. "I was probably miserable to be around."
But last week's Snapchat-fueled final round and a visit from a friend has adjusted Chappell's attitude.
"I think I just needed to forget about trying to be perfect and really just take the game for what it was," he said. "You know, I noticed that when things go sideways I try and make it perfect and by no means was I perfect today, [but I] shot 5 under par, 67. Played a great round of golf."
That round has Chappell in contention for his first victory and the three-year Tour exemption that would come along with it.
"It's something I thought about thousands and thousands of times and I could see myself doing it," he said. "It's just a matter of going out and doing it, and I can't think of a better place to get my first win ... [at] the castle that Mr. Palmer built and in front of a world-class field."