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Chapman Leads 10 Past Champions in 74th Senior PGA Championship
Defending Champion Roger Chapman of England, who rose out of obscurity a year ago to capture two senior major titles, heads 10 past winners returning for the 74th Senior PGA Championship, which will be held May 23-26 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Mo.
Chapman, who turns 54 on May 1, ended a victory drought in style in 2012 by winning the Senior PGA Championship followed less than two months later by adding the U.S. Senior Open - all in the state of Michigan. They were his first professional victories since 2000.
"There must be something in the air," Chapman said about his Michigan visits. "It has been a remarkable feeling to say that I have won the Senior PGA Championship. It was the best feeling in the world. I was also glad that I was able to go on and prove that I was not a one-off thing, and win a second major."
Past Senior PGA champions joining Chapman next month at Bellerive are: Michael Allen (2009); Jay Haas (2006, '08), Hale Irwin (1996, '97, '98, 2004), John Jacobs (2003), Tom Lehman (2010), Mike Reid (2005), Tom Wargo (1993), Denis Watson (2007) and Tom Watson (2001, '1l).
The 156-player field represents 13 countries; final entries to the championship will be made April 19.
There are currently 23 major champions in the field: Mark Brooks, Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Elkington, Irwin, Jacobs, Steve Jones, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Lehman, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Andy North, Mark O'Meara, Nick Price, Scott Simpson, Jeff Sluman, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton, Bob Tway, Denis Watson, Tom Watson, and Ian Woosnam.
Also in the field are 35 PGA club professionals, including reigning Senior PGA Professional National champion Jim Woodward of Edmond, Okla. Thirty-five members of the contingent earned a berth last October in the Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship in Aldie, Va.
The Senior PGA Championship is the oldest event in senior golf, originating in 1937 at Augusta National Golf Club at the invitation of the legendary amateur Bobby Jones. The Senior PGA Championship will feature 12 hours of live television coverage on NBC and Golf Channel, with viewership in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide. Tickets to the 74th Senior PGA Championship are available at www.SPGA2013.com.
The above report is courtesy of the PGA of America. For more information, visit www.pga.com.