PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Kevin Chappell was “daydreaming” on the last few holes Friday, and not because he was briefly tied for the lead at The Players.
For the third year in a row, Chappell was under the weather as he played TPC Sawgrass. Two years ago, he had the flu and finished T-68. Last year, he had food poisoning and missed the cut.
This time, he is dealing with congestion, a sore throat and runny nose.
Hungry, overmedicated and hot on another mid-80s day here, Chappell went 4 under for his first four holes and cruised to a 66 and 9-under 135 total through two rounds.
“I kind of got a little spacey out there at the end of the round, but I made it,” he said.
After struggling the first two years at The Players, Chappell has opted for a more conservative approach this week. He doesn’t take driver on the front-nine par 5s (Nos. 2 and 9), a luxury for those who also can pump it out there 300 yards with a 3-wood.
“I think you just have to create your own blueprint for this course,” he said. “There are a lot of different ways to play it, and I decided to make sure that I’m in play on the holes that are scoring.”
Asked to characterize his season, Chappell used the adjective “interesting.” He has two top 10s mixed with seven missed cuts. He’s first in final-round scoring average (66.0) but 132nd before the cut (71.54).
“My weekend scoring average is nice,” he said, “but I just have to get there. I haven’t done that too many times, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of this weekend.”