JERSEY CITY, N.J. – It’s safe to say Kevin Chappell couldn’t have predicted his third-round score at The Barclays prior to teeing off.
“If you would have told me someone was going to shoot 62 today,” he smiled, “I would probably have laughed at you.”
As it turns out, he was the one to shoot 62 and afterward the laughs were all his, as he moved from outside the top 40 on the leaderboard into serious contention for the title entering the final round.
Just 24 hours after Keegan Bradley set the Liberty National course record with an 8-under 63, Chappell’s total bested him by a stroke. Playing the back nine first, he opened with a 32, then carded six birdies on the outward nine for a 30.
“I got some good breaks,” he explained. “Took advantage of them. I had a chip-in and then I just really holed all the putts that you kind of expect to hole that you don't always hole; a lot of 10-, 12-footers to make birdies. Just was able to keep doing it.”
It’s a pretty miraculous turnaround for a player who hasn’t posted a top 25 in his last half-dozen starts, dating back to a solo second-place finish at The Memorial Tournament.
“The way my game's been recently, it was like, alright, kind of felt good to make a cut and have a chance to play a couple more rounds of golf,” he said. “But once you get things moving positively, it becomes easy for that mind-set to change and to start swinging a little more confidently and hitting some more confident putts.
“So I guess my mind-set going into it was like, all right, let's enjoy this as much as we can and maybe my game can grow today, and then once you get into the round, it's like, alright, let's go, let's keep going.”