Dream season for Roger Chapman
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Roger Chapman's trip to the PGA Championship from London didn't go quite as planned.
"At Washington I was in the airport for 14 hours," the Englishman said Tuesday. "Lost my clubs, lost my suitcase. So apart from that, everything is great."
Chapman got his clubs back and made it to South Carolina eventually -- and perhaps that rough journey was fitting. His resume is far from stellar, but he's now in the middle of a season that should give hope to every journeyman.
When Chapman showed up at Harbor Shores in Michigan for the Senior PGA Championship in May, he figured a top-20 finish would be a nice accomplishment. He ended up winning that tournament, and he added another title at the U.S. Senior Open in July.
Suddenly, his nondescript career turned into one of golf's most remarkable stories of 2012.
Chapman's reward for winning the Senior PGA is a spot in this week's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
"I'm just going to enjoy it," Chapman said. "If I make the cut, I make the cut. It's another big experience for me, and to be sort of treading the fairways with some of these wonderful young players, it's a real huge lift for me."
Before this year, the only real highlight of Chapman's pro career was a win in Brazil at a European Tour event in 2000. He's played some of his best golf as an amateur and now as a senior.
"It's pretty unexplainable," Chapman said. "All of a sudden, senior golf. I think it gives you a new lease on life, and you're not going to be on the scrap heap for the years to come."
A neck injury forced Chapman out of the Senior British Open late last month before the start of the second round. He said Tuesday he's feeling better.
This week, Chapman will be tested on the 7,676-yard Ocean Course. He won't have much time to familiarize himself with it thanks to his travel delays. He said he was supposed to fly from Dulles Airport to Charleston, but after several delays, the flight was canceled around 5 a.m. Monday.
"We had a mad dash over to Ronald Reagan Airport," he said.
That logistical nightmare still wasn't enough to change Chapman's pleasant, upbeat outlook.
"My first PGA Championship -- really looking forward to it. It's on a fantastic golf course," he said. "I have played it on Xbox with my son Sunday morning, so I got a bit of a feel to it."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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2012 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
In recent months, Rory McIlroy admitted he heard the questions about his game going south. After Sunday's record-setting win at the PGA, those critics have been silenced. Gene Wojciechowski
2012 champion: Rory McIlroy
Course: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
Where: Kiawah Island, S.C.
Yardage, par: 7,676 yards, par-72