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Chapman Loves 'Pure Michigan'
Roger Chapman fired a 4-under 66 to overtake an elite field and win the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich.
The two-stroke victory was the second Champions Tour major title for the 53-year-old Englishman; he won the Senior PGA Championship in late May at the Golf Club at Benton Harbor, also in Michigan.
Chapman rose to the top of the leaderboard thanks to five birdies and a bogey Sunday. His lone bogey came on the par-4 16th, lowering his lead to a stroke. But on the very next hole, a 202-yard par-3, he hit a beautiful 5-iron to a foot for a tap-in birdie to join Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin as the only players to win the Senior PGA and U.S. Senior Open in the same year. He called his final birdie "a career shot."
When he won the Senior PGA, the emotional Chapman, who became the first Englishman to win the Senior U.S. Open, dedicated that triumph to his late coach George Will. On Sunday he gave credit to his family, including his wife Cathy, who - unlike at Benton Harbor - was in attendance. "I want to dedicate this to my family; they've supported me for 25-30 years. They're special people."
As for his affinity for the Wolverine State, the Briton exclaimed, "Just love the air - it's pure Michigan," in reference to the state's tourism motto.
When his final putt drop secured the victory, Chapman, who earned $500,000 for the biggest payday of lengthy career, embraced playing partner Corey Pavin, their two caddies and his wife.
Chapman finished at 10-under 270. There was a four-way tie for second at 272 involving Fred Funk (67), Pavin (68), Tom Lehman (68), and Bernhard Langer, who began the final round with a four-stroke lead but closed with a 72.
Langer, whose third-round 64 was propelled by a 5-under 30 on the front nine, had a much different start Sunday. The 2010 U.S. Senior Open champion at Sahalee double-bogeyed the par-4 second hole and bogeyed the par-4 seventh to make the turn in 3-over 38. Three birdies against two bogeys gave the German a 34 on the back.
Sharing sixth at 274 were John Cook (66) and John Huston (72), while another stroke back was Mark Wiebe (68).
Peter Senior (68), Jay Haas (72) and surprise 36-hole leader Lance Ten Broeck (71) shared ninth at 277. First-round pacesetter Tom Kite (69), Mark Calcavecchia (71) and Fred Couples (73) tied for 12th at 278.
"I thought I played really well, except for I didn't putt well at all the whole week. Average, at best, I'd say. I struggled all four days putting," Ten Broeck said. "Great week. No doubt about it. I had a great week. So I get back next year too."
The only other players finishing under par over 72 holes were Dick Mast (74) and Tom Pernice, Jr. (75) at 279.
The low amateur was Doug Hanzel. The former Kent State player, who now lives in Savannah, Ga., posted a 75 to end up sharing 53rd at 9-over 289.
Lehman is among several players in the field now heading to England for the British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. It was at that course where the Minnesotan won his only major on the PGA Tour, the Open Championship in 1996.
For complete scoring, visit http://www.ussenioropen.com/scoring2012/dyn/alllb.html.