Former UCLA star Chappell wins first Nationwide event


Nationwide Tour

HAYWARD, Calif. – Former UCLA star Kevin Chappell won the Fresh Express Classic on Sunday for first Nationwide Tour title, birdieing two of the last four holes for a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Canadian David Hearn.

The 23-year-old Chappell opened with rounds of 66, 67 and 66 en route to a tournament-record 20-under 264 total at TPC Stonebrae. In the 2008 NCAA tournament, he won the individual title to lead the Bruins to the team championship.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Chappell said. “It’s a surreal feeling, but it’s one I could use to.”

Chappell played the front nine in 5-under 31. He opened with three birdies, also birdied No. 5, bogeyed No. 6 and birdies Nos. 7 and 9.

“I knew I had to get off to a quick start because the back nine plays a lot tougher,” Chappell said. “Getting those birdies early just kick-started me.”

He bogeyed the par-4 14th before birdieing Nos. 15 and 17.

“It was almost calming to make bogey there and give up the lead,” Chappell said. “I knew I could play well coming from behind.”

Chappell earned $108,000 to jump from 18th to second on the money list with $151,021. The top 25 after the end of the season will earn 2011 PGA Tour cards..

Hearn finished with a 65.

“Kevin is fearless, which I guess you are when you are only 23,” Hearn said.

Fellow Canadian Jon Miles (68) was third at 17 under.