Chapman gets the hang of it – after only 28 years

 

Better late than never, should be tattooed on Roger Chapman's bag. His record in the United States reads: played two, won two. Chapman is 53 years old. In 28 seasons on the European Tour, a career that extended over 618 events, Chapman won once. And in all that time he barely crossed the Atlantic to play golf. He wasn't good enough.

But in May this year he made it to the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Incredibly Chapman won, and then repeated the feat at the Senior US Open a month later, which not only took his earnings in America to a career-best £565,000, but also earned him his passage into a third tournament across the Atlantic, and quite an important one at that, the US PGA, which begins at Kiawah Island on Thursday.

If he fails to net the hat-trick he has another crack at it in the US Open at Merion next year.

Chapman's last appearance at a major championship ended in disqualification over a scorecard error in his second round at The Open at Muirfield a decade ago. His best finish at The Open was 12th at Birkdale back in 1991.

But his fondest memories go back to his debut at Turnberry as an 18-year-old amateur in 1977, best known for the "Duel in the sun" between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.

"I'd come through qualifying at West Herts and then at Western Gailes in Ayrshire. I remember standing on the seventh tee looking out over the Ailsa course, gazing at the huge crowds and thinking, 'What on earth am I doing here?' I felt totally out of my depth." Chapman is grouped with double major winner Retief Goosen and Mark Brooks in the opening two rounds, starting with an afternoon tee time on Thursday. In the marque groups, world No 1 Luke Donald will start alongside this year's Open pace-setter Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson.

World No 2 Rory McIlroy is in with Dustin Johnson and the red-hot Jim Furyk, who blew the lead at the US Open on the last day.

World No 2 Lee Westwood has Angel Cabrera and Bill Haas for company. Tiger Woods, whose search for the form of old continues to fluctuate, is grouped with the previous two winners of the PGA, Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer. The latter is showing signs of a return to the dominance of two years ago, a run which propelled him to the top of the world rankings in February 2011. The season's three major winners, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els head out in the blue riband three ball.

All of the leading contenders were in action yesterday at the final WGC event of the year, the Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. Jim Furyk topped the leaderboard going into day three on 11 under after following up his opening-round 63 with a four-under 66. Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello was second on nine under.

Suggested Topics
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering