Kevin Chappell has figured something out. Going into the Tour Championship, where he lost a playoff to Rory McIlroy, Chappell had made 18 of 26 cuts, compared to 17 of 26 a year earlier. But his earnings more than tripled, from $1.3 million in 2015 to $4.5 million in 2016.
"I found a formula that works for me," Chappell says. "I'm practicing less but smarter. My family is the most important thing to me." With better balance in his life, he says he's keeping his golf in perspective.
The best player in collegiate golf in 2008, Chappell played on the Nationwide Tour and started working his way up the PGA Tour ladder. Then, early this year he had three second-place finishes—behind Kevin Kisner at the RSM Classic and then to Jason Day at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players. He ended the season by reaching the playoff at the Tour Championship.
Working with his teacher of five years, Mark Blackburn, Chappell has learned to control his iron shots with a shorter action. Check it out frame-by-frame. "This swing really works in pressure situations," Chappell says, and he's starting to prove it.