Chapman cruises to Senior PGA crown

By Associated PressMay 27, 2012, 10:35 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – After taking a nine-stroke lead early in the final round of the Senior PGA Championship, Roger Chapman needed only to play out the remaining holes and savor the greatest moment of his professional life.

That's when he began to think about his mentor, George Will, who died two years ago after doing so much to help Chapman's career.

''Your mind just starts to wander a bit,'' Chapman said. ''I was thinking of George all the way around – what he would be thinking.''

By that point, Chapman didn't need to focus totally on his round. After making three bogeys in the final five holes, he held on to win comfortably by two shots Sunday, wrapping up a phenomenal performance in which he held at least a share of the lead at the end of each day. The Englishman had never won on the Champions Tour, but he took control of the major championship during the final two rounds.

Chapman led by five after 54 holes and was never really threatened on the last day at Harbor Shores. He closed with a 1-over 72 – his worst score of the tournament – to finish at 13-under par. John Cook was second after a 69, and Hale Irwin was another stroke back after a 68.

Kenny Perry had a tournament-record 62 to finish five shots behind in ninth place.

''In the back of your mind you think, 'Can I blow a five-shot lead?' The negative man sitting on your shoulder there, telling you all the things that could happen,'' Chapman said. ''It is difficult, when you haven't been in that position before.''

Prior to 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.

Chapman could trace this win back 40 years, when he was a 13-year-old with hopes of playing professionally. That's when he met Will.

''When he passed away in 2010, it was like losing your best friend,'' Chapman said. ''He was my father figure and if I hadn't met him I don't think I would be sitting here right now. ... He had the belief in me to work with me and never took one penny for a lesson. It was all for free. Not one penny.'''

Chapman became the first player since 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. At that point, the only suspenseful race was for second place.

''I can't say it was fun to watch, but it was impressive to watch,'' Cook said. ''He's a good man, though. I'm happy for him. We know what he's been through.''

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 5-foot 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.

''I made a couple of mistakes,'' Chapman said. ''And then you're thinking, 'Well, it's only four shots now.' But four shots is a lot.''

There were plenty of low scores Sunday, even as the temperature hovered around 90 degrees at the 6,822-yard course. 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.

''I knew I wasn't going to catch Roger,'' Perry said. ''I was just going at every stick and didn't really care, didn't have any fears or thoughts, and I wish I could learn to play golf like that every day.''

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.

Chapman is second in the Schwab Cup standings behind Michael Allen.


That's when he began to think about his mentor, George Will, who died two years ago after doing so much to help Chapman's career.

''Your mind just starts to wander a bit,'' Chapman said. ''I was thinking of George all the way around – what he would be thinking.''

By that point, Chapman didn't need to focus totally on his round. After making three bogeys in the final five holes, he held on to win comfortably by two shots Sunday, wrapping up a phenomenal performance in which he held at least a share of the lead at the end of each day. The Englishman had never won on the Champions Tour, but he took control of the major championship during the final two rounds.

Chapman led by five after 54 holes and was never really threatened on the last day at Harbor Shores. He closed with a 1-over 72 – his worst score of the tournament – to finish at 13-under par. John Cook was second after a 69, and Hale Irwin was another stroke back after a 68.

Kenny Perry had a tournament-record 62 to finish five shots behind in ninth place.

''In the back of your mind you think, 'Can I blow a five-shot lead?' The negative man sitting on your shoulder there, telling you all the things that could happen,'' Chapman said. ''It is difficult, when you haven't been in that position before.''

Prior to 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.

Chapman could trace this win back 40 years, when he was a 13-year-old with hopes of playing professionally. That's when he met Will.

''When he passed away in 2010, it was like losing your best friend,'' Chapman said. ''He was my father figure and if I hadn't met him I don't think I would be sitting here right now. ... He had the belief in me to work with me and never took one penny for a lesson. It was all for free. Not one penny.'''

Chapman became the first player since 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. At that point, the only suspenseful race was for second place.

''I can't say it was fun to watch, but it was impressive to watch,'' Cook said. ''He's a good man, though. I'm happy for him. We know what he's been through.''

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 5-foot 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.

''I made a couple of mistakes,'' Chapman said. ''And then you're thinking, 'Well, it's only four shots now.' But four shots is a lot.''

There were plenty of low scores Sunday, even as the temperature hovered around 90 degrees at the 6,822-yard course. 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.

''I knew I wasn't going to catch Roger,'' Perry said. ''I was just going at every stick and didn't really care, didn't have any fears or thoughts, and I wish I could learn to play golf like that every day.''

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.

Chapman is second in the Schwab Cup standings behind Michael Allen.

American Junior Golf Association

Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

12/1: Tony Finau

14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

20/1: Francesco Molinari

25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

“I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

“I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

“I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.



“Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

“Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

“I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

“It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

“Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

“She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

“I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

Her overall assessment of her day?

“It was a great experience,” she said.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.