Roger Chapman returns to Harbor ShoresPublished 8:35pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013
BENTON HARBOR — Roger Chapman, who stunned the golf world a year ago by winning two senior major championships less than two months apart, returned to Benton Harbor Tuesday to show his appreciation for the people, the golf club and Southwest Michigan which supported him last May during the first-ever professional golf event hosted at Harbor Shores.
Chapman will help support the 75th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, which returns to Harbor Shores, May 22-25, 2014.
Last year, Chapman became the first native of England to win the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf. Chapman posted a 13-under-par 271 for a two-stroke victory, his first professional triumph since 2000. He kept his momentum in July by capturing the U.S. Senior Open title in Lake Orion, Mich. “Just a lovely area,” said Chapman, who had never been in Michigan until he competed at Harbor Shores. “It’s pure Michigan.”
Chapman said he could not pinpoint one secret to his success coming together at the major championships.
“I guess there must be something in the air,” he said. “I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just everybody involved in both tournaments has been fantastic, all the volunteers.
“They just make you feel so welcome. Everybody’s just been so wonderful and supportive and helpful. The people can’t do enough for you. They’ve been wonderful people.”
Chapman engaged in a “Fireside Chat” and breakfast at the Harbor Shores clubhouse, followed by a Five-Hole Shootout featuring the Hon. James Hightower, mayor of Benton Harbor, General Chairman Jeff Noel, Deb O’Connor, KitchenAid director of global partnerships; Harbor Shores General Manager Ross Smith, along with selected fans, volunteers and media representatives.
Chapman capped his day with lunch and a dedication at the Grande Mere Inn in Stevensville, a restaurant that became his “good luck charm,” where he dined throughout the week of the 2012 Championship.
Tickets sales begin this fall for the 75th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, conducted May 22-25, 2014, and already more than 1,000 volunteers have registered.
“We are excited about the early registration for volunteers to this Championship,” said Senior PGA Championship Director Jeff Hintz. “Once again, the community is welcoming this Championship with open arms and is again ready to partner with The PGA of America to host another successful Championship in Michigan’s Great Southwest.”
In 2012, the Senior PGA Championship featured more than 2,000 volunteers, with the creation of 250 temporary jobs, while the City of Benton Harbor and Harbor Shores received nearly $8 million in combined branding exposure based upon a post-championship study.