sport

Chappell makes his mark

Unheralded American Kevin Chappell joined Lee Westwood in the early lead at the US PGA Championship with a flawless opening round of 65.

The 28-year-old Californian birdied the second, fourth and ninth holes on the front nine and then almost mirrored that on the back nine with birdies at the 10th, 13th and 18th to move to six under.

Chappell has yet to win in four years on the PGA Tour and missed the cut a year ago at Oak Hill in his only other PGA appearance.

The world No 104 is currently 71st in the FedEx Cup rankings, with a best finish of joint-10th this season at Colonial in May, but he took a liking to Valhalla.

Chappell told Sky Sports: \"It's a great golf course in excellent condition and I just felt like I played some good practice rounds, created a good formula for me to have some success round here and executed the formula nicely.

\"I have created some consistency this season, something I haven't had in my career. I would like to have some consistency towards the top of the leaderboard, but hopefully this is the start of that and I look forward to moving forward.\"

Chappell's driving accuracy was 78.57 per cent and he admitted that had been a crucial factor in his round.

He said: \"That's a key for me on any golf course but there is a big emphasis on that this week with the rough being up. It's also tough to read the lies so that's going to allow you to hit the right quadrants on the greens and make some birdie putts.\"

Chappell also reckons he is now feeling more comfortable after four years on the PGA Tour.

He added: \"I think this is my eighth major I have had some success in the US Open so there is definitely a comfort level and I am excited for where I am at.\"