Sunday, May 27, 2012


BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (AP) -- Roger Chapman has won the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, holding on for a two-stroke victory after leading comfortably throughout the final round Sunday.
Chapman led by five after 54 holes and was never really threatened Sunday. His closing 1-over 72 was his worst score of the tournament -- but it was enough to give the Englishman a win at the major championship.
Chapman, who had never won on the Champions Tour, finished at 13 under. He bogeyed three of the last five holes but had enough of a cushion that it didn't matter.
John Cook was at 11 under after a 69. Hale Irwin shot 68 to finish another stroke back.
Sandy Lyle finished joint fourth on 275 with scores of 74 71 77 and 64.
Kenny Perry shot a tournament-record 62 at Harbor Shores but finished five shots behind in ninth place.
Image of Roger Chapman with the US PGA Seniors Championship trophy by courtesy of (c)Getty Images.

+Even in Europe Roger Chapman is an "unknown" to most golf punters - not a leading light by any means on the European Senior Tour after a far from successful career on the European Tour. But he was a frontline amateur in the 1980s when he was English amateur champion, Lytham Trophy winner and played for GB and I in the Walker Cup. Speak about getting your second wind!

"It's the greatest day of my professional career. No question about that. It was hard work in the end, and your mind just starts to wander a bit. And I was thinking of George (Will, his late coach and former Ryder Cup player) all the way around.
"What he would be thinking ... and Ijust lost my focus a bit. But I hung in there and fortunately I could bogey the last two to still win.”
Glancing at the huge trophy next to him and the names engraved on this incredible piece of silverware, he said: “It's incredible. You have got Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller, Jay Haas. And it's incredible just to have my name under Tom Watson's name, the defending champion.
“It's the best feeling in the world. This is what we strive for, this is what we practice and work hard for.”
The 53 year old Englishman’s victory was built on a stunning third round of 64 and with ten holes to play he was eight strokes clear. Despite the best efforts of the chasing pack, who produced some blistering low scores such as the 62 of Kenny Perry, 63 of Senior and 64 of Sandy Lyle, Chapman was not to be denied the greatest victory of his career.
He had only won once previously on The European Tour in the Brazil 500 Years Rio de Janiero Open, when he defeated Padraig Harrington in a play-off.
“If I had a school report I would probably give myself a B-minus for my European Tour career. There were tournaments that I should have closed out and I think not winning early in my career, and I was expected to win early in my career, had a negative effect on the way I played and on the way things happened. And I would let leads slip, etcetera.
“So this week, having led from wire to wire, that to me is the greatest thing I've ever done.”
Holding a five-stroke lead overnight, Chapman, sponsored by Speedy Services – the new title sponsors of the Wales Senior Open, extended his lead to eight with birdies at the fourth, sixth and seventh holes.
Dropped shots at the ninth and 14th followed before two bogeys to finish but such was the lead he had established that they did not matter.
Sandy Lyle, a two-time Major Champion and the newest member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, led the applause for Chapman.
The Scot said: “Roger's lost his coach just recently due to illness and I think that's been a great motivation for him. It's been wonderful for him to pull it off this week. He's been a great player for many years, but maybe under the radar a little bit.
"If you look at Roger's record, he hasn't achieved a massive amount of tournament wins, but he's always been a good player.
“And I think that since he's turned 50 he's kept himself pretty healthy and he's still a very powerful player. It's a fantastic achievement."
Par 284 (4x71) Yardage 6,822
271 Roger Chapman (England) 68 67 6472
273 John Cook (US) 69 68 69 69
274 Hale Irwin (US) 71 6 69 68
275 Sandy Lyle (Scotland) 74 71 66 64, Peter Senior (Australia) 74 67 71 63, Joe Daley (US) 73 72 66 64, Bernhard Langer (Germany) 73 68 64 65, David Frost (South Africa) 70 70 68 67.





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