Friday, December 15, 2017

Chapman has rare feat

LAKE ORION, Mich. — Roger Chapman earned the right to be mentioned in the same sentence with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Hale Irwin.

Not bad for a self-described former European Tour journeyman.

The Englishman shot 4-under 66 Sunday to win the U.S. Senior Open by two strokes at 10 under at Indianwood. He won the Senior PGA Championship by the same margin two months ago on the other side of Michigan.

Chapman joins Nicklaus, Player and Irwin as the only players to win both events in the same year.

"It's a true honor," Chapman said.

Before this year, his career highlight was a European Tour win in Brazil in 2000.

Bernhard Langer (72), Fred Funk (67), Tom Lehman (68) and Corey Pavin (68) tied for second at 8-under 272 at the Champions Tour's fourth of five majors. Pavin's two-stroke penalty after his first round for hitting a ball that moved a fraction of an inch proved to be costly.

Langer took a four-shot lead into the final round but closed with a shaky performance. He gave up two shots at No. 2.

"I knew there was a lot of golf left and I was still in the lead," he said. "If I shoot under par from that point on, I'll still be in good shape, but I couldn't make a putt."

The wind picked up considerably — with gusts up to 20 mph — and made it tougher to keep tee shots on the unforgiving and tight fairways and to approach hard, undulating greens.

Chapman, 53, answered the challenge for much of the day with two birdies on the front nine and four through 14 holes.

He bogeyed 16 but got that stroke back on the pivotal 195-yard, par-3 17th when he hit a 5-iron that was close enough for a tap-in birdie.

PGA: Zach Johnson won the John Deere Classic on the second playoff hole, hitting a 6-iron approach out of a bunker from 193 yards to within a foot for a birdie to beat Troy Matteson in Silvis, Ill.

After both double-bogeyed the 18th on the first playoff hole, Matteson's 43-footer to match Johnson was short.

Johnson's shot gave the crowd a chance to roar louder than it had all day. The native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about an hour from the Quad Cities, always has been a fan favorite at the tournament.

"I liked that crescendo from the crowd," Johnson said. "I saw it bounce on the green and hoped it would kick left. I couldn't see the golf ball."

Johnson birdied three of the last six holes in regulation, taking the lead until Matteson's 60-foot eagle on No. 17. Johnson shot bogey-free 65 to match third-round leader Matteson (69) at 20-under 264.

EUROPEAN: Jeev Milkha Singh beat Francesco Molinari in a playoff to win the Scottish Open in Inverness, securing a berth in this week's British Open. After shooting 67 to tie Molinari (72) at 17-under 271, Singh won with a 15-foot birdie on No. 18. Top-ranked Luke Donald (73) and Phil Mickelson (74) were among those who tied for 16th at 12-under 276.

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