Kevin Chappell shoots stunning 59 in return from back surgery

American ties PGA record with nine consecutive birdies at Greenbrier Classic

 Kevin Chappell  poses after shooting a 59 during the the Greenbrier Classic   at  the Old White TPC course  in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Kevin Chappell poses after shooting a 59 during the the Greenbrier Classic at the Old White TPC course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

Kevin Chappell became the 10th player to break 60 on the PGA Tour as he used a record-tying nine consecutive birdies to shoot an 11-under 59 at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on Friday.

In his first tournament since back surgery a year ago, Chappell had a chance to tie Jim Furyk’s all-time low of 58 but missed a 10-foot birdie putt at the ninth hole.

His nine consecutive birdies tied Mark Calcavecchia’s PGA Tour record at the 2009 Canadian Open.

“I was striking it well, and it seemed like every putt I had was a pretty simple read,” Chappell told PGA Tour Radio.

“To go out and have my first start back on the PGA Tour to shoot 59, get myself in contention going into the weekend, I just couldn’t be more proud of myself right now,” he added in a news conference.

Despite his superb play, the 33-year-old was in fifth place at 10-under 130 after an opening round 71.

Americans Scottie Scheffler (62) and Robby Shelton (65) and 20-year-old Chilean Joaquin Niemann (62) share the lead at 13-under 127. Adam Long was another stroke back after another 62.

Things were going so well for Chappell that he told his caddie he wanted to shoot 57. But pars on his final two holes ended that chance.

Playing the back nine first, Chappell shot 28, making eight consecutive birdies after opening with a par.

He started the front nine with another birdie and added birdies at the fifth and seventh holes.

The sub-60 round was the first on the PGA Tour since Brandt Snedeker posted a 59 at the 2018 Wyndham Championship.

“Ten months ago I was laying on my couch and couldn’t get up,” Chappell said. “So many people sacrificed to get me here, especially my family. A lot of people believed in me, put in a lot of hard work.”

Scheffler, who played in the morning from the back nine first, also had a string of birdies. He made four in a row to start the round at White Sulphur Springs, then added two more to make the turn at six under. He collected two more, including one at his last hole for his 62.

Niemann, also starting on the back nine, used an eagle at the 12th and six birdies to catch Scheffler.

Shelton, the first day leader, then caught both of them, making six birdies after an early bogey.

South Korean Im Sung-jae added a 67 to a first-round 66 and was six strokes off the pace.

Ireland’s Séamus Power missed the cut by one stroke after a second-round 69 left him on three under, one shot off the cut mark.

LEADERBOARD
USA unless stated, par 70

127 Scottie Scheffler 65 62, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 65 62, Robby Shelton 62 65

128 Adam Long 66 62

130 Kevin Chappell 71 59

131 Cameron Smith (Aus) 67 64, Harold Varner III 65 66, Sam Ryder 65 66, Morgan Hoffmann 66 65, Brian Harman 65 66, Harris English 66 65

132 Richy Werenski 67 65, Nate Lashley 68 64, Lanto Griffin 64 68

133 Jason Dufner 67 66, Zack Sucher 64 69, Tom Hoge 68 65, Bronson Burgoon 65 68, Grayson Murray 66 67, Denny McCarthy 72 61, Rob Oppenheim 65 68, Harry Higgs 67 66, Scott Harrington 64 69, Sungjae Im (Kor) 66 67

134 Matt Jones (Aus) 68 66, Austin Cook 66 68, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 67 67, Mark Hubbard 64 70, Robert Streb 69 65, Hank Lebioda 67 67, Martin Laird (Sco) 66 68, Joseph Bramlett 67 67, Patrick Rodgers 68 66, Peter Malnati 66 68, Scott Piercy 69 65, Cameron Percy (Aus) 67 67, Mark Anderson 68 66, Joel Dahmen 69 65, Kevin Na 64 70, Vince Covello 67 67, D.J. Trahan 67 67

135 Keegan Bradley 67 68, Roberto Castro 67 68, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 69 66, Nick Taylor (Can) 70 65, Andrew Novak 66 69, Cameron Tringale 66 69

136 Bud Cauley 69 67, Scott Brown 66 70, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 68 68, Rhein Gibson (Aus) 71 65, David Hearn (Can) 67 69, Tyler McCumber 70 66, Danny Lee (Nzl) 70 66, Doc Redman 69 67, Peter Uihlein 68 68, Russell Henley 68 68, JJ Spaun 66 70, Brice Garnett 68 68, Dominic Bozzelli 67 69, Beau Hossler 69 67, Sung Kang (Kor) 65 71, Bubba Watson 69 67, Doug Ghim 65 71 Brendan Steele 69 67, Sebastian Cappelen (Den) 69 67, Jonathan Byrd 71 65, Johnson Wagner 70 66

MISSED CUT

137 Nick Watney 66 71, Adam Schenk 67 70, Jason Kokrak 69 68, Scott Stallings 69 68, Matthew NeSmith 68 69, Sepp Straka (Aut) 71 66, Séamus Power (Irl) 68 69, Chase Seiffert 68 69, Talor Gooch 68 69, Matt Every 71 66, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 67 70, Bol Hoag 69 68, Kevin Streelman 66 71, J.B. Holmes 71 66, Ted Potter, Jr. 66 71, Tyler Duncan 67 70

138 Rafael Campos 69 69, Zach Johnson 69 69, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 73 65, Tom Lewis (Eng) 68 70, Nelson Lauta Ledesma (Arg) 70 68, Ben Taylor (Eng) 72 66, Sam Burns 69 69, Rod Pampling (Aus) 69 69, Ryan Armour 71 67, Bryson DeChambeau 68 70

139 Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 70 69, Hayden Springer 70 69, George McNeill 70 69, Whee Kim (Kor) 69 70, Ben Crane 69 70, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 70 69, Jimmy Walker 65 74, Boo Weekley 69 70

140 Brian Stuard 73 67, Wes Roach 69 71, Henrik Norlander (Swe) 69 71, David Lingmerth (Swe) 68 72, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) 70 70, Brendon Todd 67 73, Ryan Brehm 71 69, Kyle Westmoreland 68 72, Jim Herman 73 67, Russell Knox (Sco) 72 68, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 67 73

141 Billy Hurley III 72 69, Bill Haas 70 71, Vincent Whaley 75 66, Andrew Landry 73 68, Martin Trainer 67 74, John Huh 68 73, Michael Kim 73 68

142 Roger Sloan (Can) 71 71, Steve Allan (Aus) 71 71, Christopher Baker 70 72, Branden Grace (Rsa) 70 72, Michael Gligic (Can) 72 70, Jamie Lovemark 73 69, Arjun Atwal (Ind) 68 74, Sang-moon Bae (Kor) 71 71, Daniel Summerhays 68 74, Josh Teater 72 70

143 JJ Henry 69 74, Maverick McNealy 67 76, John Senden (Aus) 74 69, Shintaro Ban 70 73, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 69 74

144 John Daly 74 70, Brandon Hagy 75 69, Cameron Davis (Aus) 74 70, Zac Blair 74 70

145 Kramer Hickok 69 76, John Rollins 73 72, Davey Jude 70 75, Robert Garrigus 72 73, Alex Cejka (Ger) 70 75

146 DA Points 72 74, Brendon Ger Jonge (Zim) 72 74, Kristoffer Ventura (Nor) 72 74, Ryan Blaum 74 72, Michael Gellerman 73 73, Conrad Shindler 73 73

147 Mason Williams 73 74, Patton Kizzire 70 77

148 Freddie Jacobson (Swe) 75 73

149 Shawn Stefani 74 75

153 Joe Boros 75 78

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