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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Palmer in contention at Texas Open, shoots low round of day

Ryan+Palmer+shot+a+4-under+68+on+Saturday.+His+round+was+the+lowest+of+the+day+among+the+entire+field.
Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Ryan Palmer shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday. His round was the lowest of the day among the entire field.

Palmer shoots low round of day, sits tied for fourth
SAN ANTONIO — On a day that featured 20 miles per hour winds and the coldest April temperatures for the city of San Antonio, many players struggled at the Texas Open. Not Ryan Palmer, though, who felt right at home.
The former Texas A&M golfer grew up playing during windy conditions in Amarillo, Texas, and his 4-under 68 Saturday was good for the lowest round of the day. His experience in the conditions showed as he vaulted up the leaderboard in a tie for fourth, sitting at 6-under for the tournament, two strokes behind leader Kevin Chappell.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Palmer said of the wind. “I kind of built up some past experiences here at this golf course but that wind a couple years ago when I played, I shot a low round as well. Mainly it was my patience. I had a lot of patience this year I think because of the slow start and, you know, I’ve been driving it well.”
Palmer played his front nine in 33 strokes with birdies coming at five, six and eight. The birdie that really stood out was his 56-footer that he holed on the sixth.
“It was one of those putts you just try and two putt,” The 40-year-old said. “You kind of visualize a three or four foot circle and put it in the middle of it. It had a delayed break and took a break at the write time and it rolled in like a two-footer. It’s one of those putts that you don’t expect to make but it sure is fun to make one once in awhile.”

Palmer bogeyed once on the back nine at the par-4 13th, but finished his round on a positive note with birdies on 17, where he drove the green, and 18 with mid-range putts of 15 and 10 feet.
The three-time winner on the PGA Tour is hoping to win gain his first win since the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii. Palmer is in his 15th start at the Texas Open and is the only player to shoot under par during the second and third rounds of this year’s edition.
“It’s very special being from the state of Texas and close to Aggieland,” Palmer said of the tournament. “You hear a lot of whoops out there. It would mean a lot to win in front of a lot of friends, family and fans and in San Antonio, I love the city. It would be a special win.”
Palmer is scheduled to tee-off the final round Sunday at 11:10 CT. The Valero Texas Open can be seen on CBS.
Kevin Chappell takes the lead, Branden Grace and John Huh lurk
After a rough start with three bogeys and a double on his front nine, Fresno, California’s Kevin Chappell turned things around on his back nine, playing it 3-under and taking the tournament lead at 8-under par.
The 30-year-old is in search of his PGA Tour victory and this is the first time he holds a lead after 54-holes. His best finish was in 2016 when he tied for second at the TOUR Championship.
“I just needed to find a rhythm,” Chappell said after his round. Obviously the golf course hit me in the chin real hard early. I was confident that if I could get to 14 at 2-over par or better that I think I could post a score, and then to birdie 14, 16, and 17, obviously felt sweet.”
Palmer isn’t the only Texas native that will be in contention tomorrow. Dallas native John Huh played a solid round at 1-under par and sits tied with Grace in second place at 7-under.
Huh played similarly to Chappell, struggling on the front nine and recording three bogeys on his round. Instead of finishing his round at 2-over for the day, Huh managed to record a chip-in from the bunker for an eagle-two on the par-4 17th and close out 18 with a nice six-footer for birdie.
“As soon as I got there it was kind of tough lie with downwind and I was just telling myself, just make sure get high enough where you can let the wind be your friend,” Huh regarding his eagle at 17. “So I pulled off the shot and I was fortunate that it went in.”
Chappell, Grace and Huh will play in the final group tomorrow that tees off at 11:20 CT.

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