Steve and Debbie Chappell got their boy back home this weekend.
OK, Kevin Chappell isn't a boy anymore. It's just that some of us still have vivid memories of the sweet-swinging teenager walking the fairways in junior tournaments and at Buchanan High.
But the boy who left four years ago for UCLA returned home this weekend as a man -- The Man -- after winning the NCAA golf title two weeks ago in West Lafayette, Ind.
Steve and Debbie Chappell watched their son win that title -- and help his Bruins win the team title -- with the bogey chip-in heard 'round the golf world on No. 17 at the Purdue University golf course.
Said Debbie a week later: "It was amazing. The ground just shook."
Kevin was whisked away from that tournament to Columbus, Ohio, where he received the Jack Nicklaus Award for college player of the year from the Golden Bear himself. Then Chappell returned to school to finish his finals.
He packed up and headed home this weekend. Today the Chappells will celebrate Father's Day, their first time back together since that day in Indiana.
Debbie said it should be a low-key weekend. "We'll watch the U.S. Open," she said. "And pack him [for the Palmer Cup in Scotland]."
The family day also will include some sadness, for the loss of Casey, Kevin's brother, who died last October of heart failure at age 24. Kevin dedicated his senior season to his brother, writing Casey's initials on his golf balls.
Then, after his high school friend Joey Eischen died this spring, Chappell wrote Eischen's initials on his golf balls. The Chappells and Eischens, joined in grief, took solace in Kevin's exploits at UCLA.
"Kevin is holding a couple of families together," Debbie said.
Kevin will be home for just a few days. He's due in Scotland soon, to join his American college-star buddies in the Palmer Cup on June 26-27 against the best collegians from Great Britain.
After the Palmer Cup, Debbie said, her son will declare that he is a professional. Sponsors will be lined up at their doorstep, and PGA tournament directors will be right behind, offering exemptions into their events.
But before all those wheels start in motion, the Chappells will continue to enjoy the sweet memories of what Debbie called "a pretty darned fabulous" week in Indiana and its aftermath -- the trip to Columbus and media exposure in Sports Illustrated, Golf World and numerous other publications and Web sites.
And she knew what Kevin was going to say about that famous chip-in at No. 17 when he got home this weekend.
"He'll say, 'I was in full control, I knew what I was doing,' " she said. "He knew it was destiny, for himself and his team. He had prepared for this for 10 years, he and [his coach] Chris Doos.
"This has been their vision."
Viva la France
Former Fresno State and Fresno Pacific All-American Jelena Pandzic jumped from 189 to 143 in the world rankings by reaching the second round of the French Open.
Ex-Fresnan Raquel Kops-Jones is now ranked No. 72 in the world in doubles after reaching the French Open third round with partner Natalie Grandin.
The Local Scene has found our personal ideal in sporting apparel.
Across the front of the baseball jerseys worn by UC-Irvine is the word "Eaters." Now that's a mascot name we could sink our teeth into.
Who, what, where, when
A 6.0-rated mixed tennis team from Copper River Country Club, captained by David Baker and Nolan Kelly, qualified to play in the USTA National Championship on Nov. 21-23 in Gold River ... Fresno attorney Bill Tatham is joining with USA Rugby to create the National Collegiate Rugby Association, which will govern "rugby sevens" (seven-man rugby) on the collegiate level.