American golfer Kevin Chappell made six birdies and an eagle yesterday and wound up with the 36-hole lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts.
Nothing brought out more emotion than his only bogey.
Chappell missed the green well to the right on the 13th hole and, with a far right pin, he didn't have much of a shot. He tried to chip it up the hill, but it came up short. He tried a flop that didn't quite stay on the green. And all he could think about was last week at Bethpage Black.
Chappell was in reasonable shape late in the second round at The Barclays when he finished bogey-double bogey-bogey. Instead of being one shot behind, he dropped four shots in three holes. At the TPC Boston, he wondered if he was headed down the same road.
Not this time. Chappell holed the 4.5m bogey putt, added two birdies and closed out a 7-under 64 for a one-shot lead at the halfway point.
"I was fighting some internal demons there," Chappell said. "I couldn't help but recall the same situation. To know that, refer to it and then not let it happen again is huge, and that's why you saw the emotion from me."
He was at 11-under 131, one shot ahead of PGA champion Jimmy Walker (64) and Paul Casey (66).
Dustin Johnson was poised to join Chappell in the lead until his long iron on the 18th sailed well right into the trees. He had to take a penalty drop, hit wedge on to about 14m and then three-putted for a double bogey. He still shot 66 and was three behind.
At least he still has a chance.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut for only the second time in a FedEx Cup playoff event, making a double bogey on his final hole for a 72.
Also missing the cut was Bubba Watson, still hopeful of a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup. Justin Thomas also is trying to make a case, and yesterday didn't help the cause. His good start was wasted by a 40 on the back nine, which included two balls in the water for a triple bogey on the par-3 16th, and he wound up missing the cut.
Jason Day, the world No1, took a quadruple-bogey 8 on the fifth hole and rallied to make the cut on the number.
Chappell nearly threw away a shot at the end. After a good drive on the 18th, he watched players in the group ahead struggle from the left of the green. Chappell figured his best chance was to lay up, but he hit it weak, the ball caught a gust of wind and it landed in the thick collar of a pot bunker.
His next shot made up for it, a wedge that jumped on him but still had enough height to settle about 4.5m away for par.