Chapman grabbing headlinesPublished 11:04am Sunday, May 27, 2012
BENTON HARBOR – A virtual unknown to American golf fans four days ago, England’s Roger Chapman has grabbed all the headlines at the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
Chapman grabbed the first round lead Thursday as one of just two golfers to break 70 at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores.
While many of the competitors were critical of the greens on the Jack Nicklaus designed course, Chapman was going about his business with a quiet calm that has allowed him to tie a pair of records through the first three days and take a five-shot lead into the final round Sunday.
On Saturday, while fashioning a comfortable third-round lead, Chapman tied the course record set the previous day by Michael Allen at 64. His three-day total of 199 tied Sam Sneed’s all-time mark, which was set in 1973.
“It was just one of those days where I think it’s the best iron play I’ve ever played in my career,” Chapman said following his round. “I had a few chances early on, one and three from about 10 feet, didn’t convert those. Missed a four-footer on nine for birdie. But then hit some real good iron shots on the back nine and came home in 30. So yeah, it was pretty special.”
John Cook trails Chapman by five strokes after shooting 69 Saturday. Hale Irwin and Steve Pate are another two shots back at 7-under. Joel Edwards, David Frost and Allen are eight, nine and 10 shots behind Chapman.
* Chapman has led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds at Harbor Shores. The last player to lead outright or share the lead and win the Senior PGA Championship was Hale Irwin in 2004 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. The last player to hold the lead alone after each round and win the Championship was Jack Nicklaus in 1991 at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
* He has made 17 birdies, including three in a row twice (one time in the first round and one time in the third round).
* He has hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation each of the first three rounds.
* He has played the par-4s in 8-under par