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April 22, 2017

Third Round Wrap-Up: Chappell Leads By One Stroke

SAN ANTONIO -- Kevin Chappell birdied three of his final five holes and took a step closer to his first PGA TOUR victory with a 1-under par 71 on Saturday, giving him a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Valero Texas Open.

Chappell is 8-under through 54 holes. He's ahead of first-round leader Branden Grace, who rallied with 2-under 70, and John Huh. After an eagle-birdie finish, Huh shot 71.

Ryan Palmer, a West Texas native who cut through winds as strong as 25 mph, had the round of the day with 4-under 68. He's joined at 6-under by second round co-leaders Bud Cauley (74) and Tony Finau (74), Sweden's Carl Pettersson (71), 2013 Texas Open champ Martin Laird (71), Kevin Tway (72) and Australian Cameron Smith (73).

Chappell tied for seventh with Rory McIlroy at the Masters this month, and he got his late charge going Saturday after leaving an eagle putt short at the par-5 14th. He tapped in to gain a stroke, and he made good two holes later with a 12-foot birdie. He chipped to two feet on the downwind, 318-yard 17th and had another tap-in birdie.

Chappell, 30, flirted with trouble on the 18th when his second shot rolled next to a brook, but he had enough room for a full swing and reached the green to set up a 2-putt par.

Grace lost his early tournament lead with a 2-over 73 in the second round. But the South African rallied Saturday and had a lead until a bogey at No. 15.

Gusts that blew past 20 mph kept scores high -- there were 14 scores below par Saturday. On Friday 49 rounds were under par, and 69 sub-par scores were recorded Thursday.

As notable as Palmer's round was in the windy conditions, it fits with the Texans' profile at this course. Since the tournament moved to TPC San Antonio's Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course seven years ago, Palmer's got three top-10 finishes including his best of a fourth-place tie last year.

With the wind at his back, he drove the 318-yard 17th hole, but was faced with a 93-foot eagle putt. He sank a 56-foot putt to birdie earlier at No. 6, so he 2-putted for the birdie at 17 and ran in another birdie at 18.

Palmer, originally from Amarillo, hasn't won since Hawaii in 2010.

With these conditions, it didn't take long for the second-round leaders to back up. Cauley bogeyed the first hole, and his co-leader Finau parred until bogey at No. 7 and a double bogey on the next hole after he was chipping for birdie from right in front of the green.

Cauley later was penalized a stroke when he double-chipped at No. 12 -- he hit the ball a second time on the follow through of his greenside chip. He putted from 13 feet to save bogey.

ABOUT THE VALERO TEXAS OPEN

The Valero Texas Open is the 6th oldest professional tournament in golf world-wide, the 3rd oldest on the PGA TOUR and the longest held in the same city. In 2012, the tournament celebrated its 90th anniversary.

It’s list of champions includes some of the greatest names in golf history: Walter Hagen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino, Nick Price, Justin Leonard, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, and 2017 Champion Kevin Chappell, to name a few.

Since Valero became title sponsor in 2002, the tournament has become the annual leader in charitable fundraising among PGA TOUR events. In 2015, we were proud yet humbled to become only the fourth PGA TOUR event to eclipse the $100 Million milestone in funds raised for charity. The 2017 edition of the Valero Texas Open raised $11 million for charity, bringing the grand total to over $126 million in charitable giving.

ABOUT VALERO

Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels and other petrochemical products. Valero subsidiaries employ approximately 10,000 people, and its assets include 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3 million barrels per day, 11 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons per year and renewable diesel production from a joint venture. Through subsidiaries, Valero owns the general partner of Valero Energy Partners LP (NYSE: VLP), a midstream master limited partnership. Approximately 7,500 outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, and Beacon brands in the United States; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Valero is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.

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Kevin Chappell

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