England's Chapman wins Senior PGA by 2 strokes

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 27, 2012
England's Roger Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship on Sunday, holding on for a two-stroke victory after leading comfortably throughout the final round. Chapman led by five after 54 holes and was never really threatened. His closing 1-over 72 was his worst score of the tournament - but enough to give him his first Champions Tour title. He finished at 13 under, after bogeying three of the last five holes. John Cook was at 11 under after a 69. Hale Irwin shot 68 to finish another stroke back. Kenny Perry shot a tournament-record 62 at Harbor Shores but finished five shots behind in ninth place. Before this week, the only real highlight of Chapman's pro career was a win in Brazil at a European Tour event in 2000. The European Senior Tour has held only one tournament this year, so Chapman hadn't played many competitive rounds before coming to Harbor Shores. He became the first player since Hale Irwin in 2004 to win the Senior PGA Championship after holding at least a share of the lead following each round. Chapman's third-round 64 helped him pull away from Cook, and he extended his lead on the front nine Sunday. Chapman birdied Nos. 4 and 6, and after another birdie on the par-4 seventh, he led by nine strokes. Cook made birdies on Nos. 9, 13 and 14, and he trailed by only four after Chapman bogeyed the par-4 14th. But Cook missed a birdie putt at No. 15, a par 5 that was the easiest hole on the course during the tournament. A bogey on No. 17 trimmed Chapman's lead to three strokes, but he kept his tee shot in the fairway on No. 18. Chapman missed the green with his approach, but so did Cook. On an emotional walk toward the 18th green, Chapman took his hat off to acknowledge the crowd, then eventually gathered himself and calmly finished with another bogey to win by two. There were plenty of low scores Sunday, even as the temperature hovered around 90 degrees. Perry began the day 15 strokes behind the leader, so winning was never realistic, but he put on a clinic, shooting 31 on each nine. Perry broke the Senior PGA Championship record for a single round of 63 set by Arnold Palmer in 1984 and Buck White in 1961, although they both did it on par-72 courses. Peter Senior shot a 63 on Sunday - including a 28 on the back nine - and tied with four other players at 9 under. Sandy Lyle and Joe Daley were in that group, too. They shot 64.
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