Lake Orion, MI – Roger Chapman won his second major championship of the season on Sunday when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senior Open.
Chapman shot a 4-under 66 on Sunday to win the event by two strokes over a slew of players at Indianwood Golf & Country Club. He finished at 10-under 270.
It must be something about major championship golf in the state of Michigan for Chapman. His Senior PGA title in May came at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores.
"Just a lovely area," Chapman joked at his trophy presentation. "I wanted to prove to myself and to people that Benton Harbor (Senior PGA Championship) wasn't a one-off event."
The Englishman became the fourth player in Champions Tour history to win both of those prestigious titles in the same year. Gary Player did it in 1988, then Jack Nicklaus turned the trick three years later. Hale Irwin was the last to accomplish the feat back in 1998.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," said Chapman. "To follow in the footsteps of Nicklaus, Player and Irwin is a true honor."
These two majors are Chapman's only victories on the elder circuit.
Third-round leader Bernhard Langer never got anything going on Sunday. He carded a 2-over 72 and tied for second with 2009 winner Fred Funk (67), Tradition champion Tom Lehman (68) and 1995 U.S. Open titlist Corey Pavin (68). The group was knotted at 8-under 272.
"Things just kind of went from bad to worse today," admitted Langer. "I just didn't feel comfortable today with the wind."
John Cook fired a 4-under 66 and shared sixth place with John Huston, who managed an even-par 70. They came in minus-6, which was one better than Mark Wiebe, whose 68 on Sunday gave him eighth at 5-under par.
Langer began the final round with a 4-shot lead and found trouble very early in his round. An errant drive in the right rough at No. 2 led to a failed punch shot that landed in a bunker. Langer hit a terrible bunker shot and after he added it all up, it was a double bogey.
With Langer down to 8-under par, Chapman didn't have to make up too much ground. He converted a 4-foot birdie putt at the second and by the time his 9- foot birdie putt fell at the eighth, Chapman was tied for the lead.
Langer was making a mess of his round and Chapman found himself alone in first. Chapman poured in a 10-footer for birdie at the 11th to pad his lead and when his 7-foot birdie putt at the 14th went in, Chapman was three clear of the field.
At the 16th, Chapman missed the green with his approach and pitched 6 feet by the flagstick. He played the putt to break to the right, but it didn't move as much as Chapman thought and the ball stayed up. Chapman's bogey cut his lead to a single shot as Funk and Lehman both got to 8-under par.
Chapman responded in spectacular form at the par-3 17th. He hit a 5-iron at the 202-yard hole and the ball rolled inside a foot.
"Just a career shot," Chapman said in a televised interview. "It pitched in the little up slope perfect. Just ran up and it was a nice, little tap-in."
Chapman was back in front by two and missed the fairway left at 18. He safely hit his approach on and 2-putted for the title.
"I felt if I got to double digits under par I might have a sniff because it got quite breezy at times," he said.
Lance Ten Broeck, who is a full-time caddy for Tim Herron on the PGA Tour, managed a 1-over 71 and shared ninth place with Peter Senior (68) and Jay Haas (72). The trio finished at 3-under par.
NOTES: Chapman pocketed $500,000 for the victory...Fred Couples had a 3-over 73 and shared 12th place at 2-under par...Tom Pernice, Jr. was in Sunday's final pairing with Langer, but struggled to a 5-over 75 and a tie for 15th at minus-1...Damon Green, the regular caddy for Zach Johnson, who won the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour Sunday, tied for 17th at even par...The Champions Tour heads to Turnberry in 2 weeks for the Senior British Open Championship, where Russ Cochran will defend his title.