Kevin Chappell ended the long wait for his first PGA Tour victory with a birdie on the 72nd hole to win the Texas Valero Open.
It's been a struggle for Chappell to get the job done in his career, but after six years and 180 starts it came down to an eight foot putt on the 18th green at TPC San Antonio - and the celebration said it all.
Chappell had led going in to Sunday by one, and propelled himself ahead further with two early birdies before being set back by a bogey on the 5th. He bounced back with a trio of birdies on 7, 10 and 14 to go two ahead, but dropped a shot once more on the 15th.
Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka was mounting the most significant challenge on the day, carding a seven-under-par 65. A final-hole birdie put him level with Chappell, and he waited anxiously in the wings warming up in the event his compatriot was unable to birdie. But this time, it was Chappell's day.
“I felt like I had some unfinished business here,” he said after his win, alluding to his second-place finish back in 2011 at the same event.
“You know, lot of hard work went into this, and I don’t think I would have it any other way. Those people that know me know I do everything the hard way, and 180 starts later, that’s pretty hard.”
With the monkey off his back, the 30-year-old American said he felt that this was now the start of a new stage in his career.
“Just a big relief for me,” Chappell said. “I don't have to answer that question anymore. Feel like I have a base to kind of jump off from with my career moving forward."
The congratulations flooded in on social media, and even Koepka (who only needed to wait 22 starts before his own PGA Tour victory) was quick to praise Chappell, despite the win coming at his expense.
“You look at all the stuff he’s done, it’s pretty impressive,” said Koepka. “It’s kind of amazing that he hasn’t won, how good he’s played.”