Kevin Chappell’s previous four events speak nothing of a man prepared to lead the Deutsche Bank Championship. Prior to reaching the TPC Boston on Friday, Chappell had finished 31st at the Barclays, missed the cut at the Travelers Championship and the PGA Championship, and finish 53rd at The Open Championship.
Not exactly trending upward, but such is the fickle nature of golf. On Saturday, Chappell tied for the best round in Boston with a 7-under 64, good enough to give him a 1-stroke lead halfway through the second leg of the FedEx Cup Championship.
Despite not having a victory this year, Chappell has played some great golf. He finished second at the RSM Classic last November; second at the Arnold Palmter Invitational; fourth at the Valero Texas Open; second at THE PLAYERS Championship; and third at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
After finishing Round 1 with four straight birdies on Friday, Chappell shot a 6-under 30 on the front nine on Saturday, including an eagle 3 on No. 8. He had a bogey on No. 13, but birdied 15 and 16 to reach 64 for the day.
That puts him one stroke ahead of Englishman Paul Casey and PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker. Walker has missed his last two cuts since winning at Baltursol in late July.
Like Chappell, Walker fired a 64 on Saturday. He was 1-over through five holes, before finishing the front nine with two birdies and an eagle on No. 7. He shot 4-under on the back nine.
World No. 2 Dustin Johnson finished Saturday at 8-under, tied for fifth. Defending FedEx champion Jordan Spieth shot his second straight 68 to tie for 13th, five strokes off the lead at 6-under.
Rory McIlroy, the 2014 FedEx Cup champion, is tie for 30th at 4-under after shooting a 4-under 67 on Saturday. Jason Day, the No. 1 player in the world, just made the cut at 1-under, tying for 62nd place. One under through three holes, Day shot a horrifying quadruple bogey 8 on the par-4 No. 5. He rebounded with birdies on No.12, 14, and 15 to live to play another day.