UCLA’s Chappell finds ups, downs as pro

As former UCLA standout Kevin Chappell left the clubhouse following the second round Friday, a young girl walked up to ask for his autograph on a Northern Trust Open flag.
“You’ve got just about everyone on here,” Chappell said as he looked for a spot to sign.
A moment later, as Chappell handed the flag back, he noticed the girl was wearing a Stanford T-shirt and cap.
“We need to get you a UCLA hat,” Chappell said with a smile before leaving Riviera Country Club.
Chappell, who won the NCAA individual championship last spring while guiding the Bruins to the team title, won’t be back on the Riviera course today, missing the cut with a two-round total of 5-over 147.
And when he’ll next sign an autograph as a PGA Tour player is in question.
After graduating from UCLA, Chappell failed to make it past the first stage of the PGA’s qualifying school last fall. That means he has no playing privileges on either the PGA or Nationwide tours.
He was in the field at the NTO only because he tied for sixth at last week’s rain-shortened AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, for which he received a sponsor’s exemption.
“I don’t even know,” Chappell said when asked about his upcoming schedule. “I’ve got some decisions to make.”
Chappell began the season in Arizona on the minor-league Gateway Tour, and said he plans to try to go through Monday qualifying to get into Nationwide Tour events.
“He’s just trying to go play wherever he can play,” said UCLA coach Derek Freeman, who caddied for Chappell this week. “He just wants the competition.”
On the bright side, Chappell earned $197,487.50 for his effort at Pebble Beach.
“Having made some money out here, it’s a teaser,” Chappell said. “Hopefully it can give me a kick-start.
“I always seem to do things the hard way. In my history with golf, there’s always a learning curve. My goal was to get in here (the NTO), so I accomplished that goal.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email