photo courtesy of http://www.usga.org
Roger Chapman won his second straight Senior Major in Michigan, taking the US Senior Open by two strokes over the group of Bernhard Langer, Fred Funk, Corey Pavin and Tom Lehman. Just six weeks before, Chapman had won the Senior PGA, held in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Back-to-Back Majors places Chapman in some pretty prestigious company.
A few final round notes:
English Champion- Roger Chapman’s victory at the 2012 U.S. Senior Open makes him the first English USGA champion since Alison Nicholas, who won the 1997 U.S. Women’s Open. He is also the first English male USGA champion since Tony Jacklin in the 1970 U.S. Open.
Foreign-Born Champion - Roger Chapman is the seventh foreign-born winner of the U.S. Senior Open (Roberto De Vicenzo, 1980; Gary Player, 1987 & 1988; Simon Hobday, 1994; Graham Marsh, 1997; Eduardo Romero, 2008; Bernhard Langer, 2010).
Winner in his First Senior Open - Roger Chapman is the first player since Peter Jacobsen in 2003 to win the U.S. Senior Open on his first attempt. He is the eighth player to win the Senior Open in his first attempt. Chapman was also playing in his first USGA championship. A total of 66 players participated in their first U.S. Senior Open in 2012.
Lowest Score by Winner, Fourth Round - Roger Chapman’s final round 66 (4 under par) tied the fifth-lowest final-round score by a U.S. Senior Open champion behind Allen Doyle, who shot a 63 in the final round in 2005.
Four Rounds in the 60s - Roger Chapman shot all four rounds in the 60s (68-68-68-66) and is the first player to win with all rounds in the 60s since Bernhard Langer in 2010.
Lowest Score, Last 54 HolesRoger Chapman played the final 54 holes in 202 strokes (8 under par), which is tied for the fifth-lowest score over the last 54 holes in U.S. Senior Open history.
Lowest Score By Non-Winner, 72 Holes - The four players who tied at 272 (8 under par) for the championship (Fred Funk, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer) tied for the second-lowest score by a non-winner in U.S. Senior Open history. Previously, Bruce Fleisher recorded 270 strokes (14 under par) at Saucon Valley C.C. (Old Course) in Bethlehem, Pa., in 2000.
Best Comeback by Winner, Final Round - Chapman came from four strokes behind to win the 201 2U.S. Senior Open, which is tied for the third-largest final-round comeback by a winner in Senior Open history. Allen Doyle came from 9 strokes back to win the 2005 U.S. Senior Open at NCR C.C. in Kettering, Ohio in 2005.
Largest 54-Hole Lead, Non-Winner - Bernhard Langer’s four-stroke lead is the largest 54-hole lead by a non-winner in U.S. Senior Open history, besting the mark of three set by Ray Floyd in 1998 and Tom Watson in 2007.
Lowest Score by Winner, Second RoundRoger Chapman’s 68 in the second round tied the sixth-lowest round in the second round by a winner in U.S. Senior Open history.
Most Top-25 Finishes - Tom Watson finished tied for 22nd, which is his 11th top 25 and ties him for the second-most top-25 finishes in U.S. Senior Open history behind Jack Nicklaus, who has 12.
Most Sub-Par Rounds, Career - Tom Watson has 22 sub-par rounds in his U.S. Senior Open career, which is second to Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin, who have 26 career sub-par rounds in their U.S. Senior Open careers.
1981 Walker Cup - Roger Chapman and runner-up Corey Pavin both participated in the 1981 Walker Cup Match at Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, Calif. They played in the same group on Sunday at the 2012 U.S. Senior Open.
Most Runner-Up Finishes - Fred Funk’s runner-up finish is his second at a U.S. Senior Open (2008), which ties him for the second-most runner-up finishes in U.S. Senior Open history behind Tom Watson, who has three.
2012 U.S. Senior Open Attendance: Thursday (July 12) – 12,374 ; Friday (July 13) – 14.417 ; Saturday (July 14) – 17,128 ; Sunday (July 15) – 18,304; Championship Total (4 days) – 62,223
Lowest Score, Any Round - Bernhard Langer’s 64 (6 under par) in the third round of the 2012 U.S. Senior Open ties him for the fourth-lowest round in U.S. Senior Open history with Orville Moody, Russ Cochran and Loren Roberts. The lowest round in U.S. Senior Open history is 62 by Loren Roberts in the third round at Prairie Dunes C.C., in Hutchinson, Kan., in 2006. The 64 is also tied for the third-lowest third round score in U.S. Senior Open history.
Birdies in a Round - Bernhard Langer’s third-round 64 included nine birdies, which is the most in a round since Russ Cochran had nine in 2009 at Crooked Stick G.C. Don Pooley also recorded nine birdies in 2002 at Caves Valley G.C.
Lowest Score, 9 Holes - Langer shot 30 on his first nine, which ties the fourth-lowest 9-hole score in U.S. Senior Open history. The lowest 9-hole score in a U.S. Senior Open was set by Tom Kite on the first nine in the first round of this year’s U.S. Senior Open, and Jay Don Blake’s 29 on the first nine of his second round is tied for second (also by Olin Browne in 2011).
Largest 54-Hole Lead - Langer’s four-stroke lead through 54 holes is tied for the third-largest 54-hole lead in U.S. Senior Open history. The largest 54-hole lead in U.S. Senior Open history belongs to Dave Stockton, who had a seven-stroke lead through 54 holes in 1996 at Canterbury G.C.
Lowest Score, First 54 Holes - Langer’s three-day total of 200 (10 under par) ties him for the third-lowest score through 54 holes in U.S. Senior Open history. Olin Browne set the record for the lowest score through 54 holes at last year’s U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club at 198 (15 under par).
Most Sub-Par Scores, Third Round - There were 23 sub-par scores in the third round on Saturday of the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, which is the third most in history. The record for the most sub-par scores in the third round was set last year at Inverness Club with 34.
Past Champions - Bernhard Langer is among three past U.S. Senior Open champions positioned in the top 15 after the third round at Indianwood Golf and Country Club. Langer, the 2010 Senior Open champion, has the 54-hole lead at 10-under par. Fred Funk, the 2009 champion, is tied for 7th. Peter Jacobsen, who won the Senior Open in 2004, is tied for 15th.
Amateurs- Doug Hanzel and Sean Knapp were the only amateurs to make the cut at the 2012 U.S. Senior Open. Hanzel (+4, 214) is tied for 47th after 54 holes. Knapp (+8, 218) is tied for 61st. Knapp was paired with Tom Watson, a three-time Senior Open runner-up, in the third round. Both players eagled the first hole. Knapp made a 24-foot putt, while Watson holed out from a greenside bunker.
Driving Leader - Steve Lowry - 311
Fairways Hit- Corey Pavin - 79%
Greens In Regulation - Bernhard Langer - 93%
Putts - Corey Pavin, Fuzzy Zoeller, TC Chen - 1.54
About driving distance - I’m impressed that so many “seniors” can drive it so far.
Those kind of numbers are impressive on any tour.
Bernhard Langer played a remarkable round on Saturday: Nine birdies, 93% of greens in regulation (1st), 74% of fairways hit (2nd); 279 driving distance (28th); 1.74 putts (t53)
Thirty-five amateurs started the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, the most since 1995 at Congressional C.C and just two – Sean Knapp from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Douglas Hanzel of Savannah, Ga. – made the cut.
Sean Knapp is low amateur, in at +2, in a t36.
A total of 66 payers made the cut, including 16 sectional qualifiers. Lance Ten Broeck, the 36-hole leader at 6-under-par 134, is the first sectional qualifier to lead the U.S. Senior Open at the halfway mark since amateur Tim Jackson did so in 2009.
Ten Broeck’s 36-hole total of 134 is just one stroke off the lowest total of 133, which Tim Jackson shot at Crooked Stick G.C. in Carmel, Ind. in 2009.
Ten Broeck caddied for Tim Herron at the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif. Broeck also played in the 1985 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he missed the cut.
The oldest player in the field, Dave Eichelberger (68, born 9/3/43), made the cut. This is Eichelberger’s 19th consecutive U.S. Senior Open start.
Five past champions made the cut (Olin Browne, Brad Bryant, Fred Funk, Peter Jacobsen and Bernhard Langer).
Jay Don Blake recorded the second lowest 9-hole score in U.S. Senior Open history on his first nine with a 6-under-par 29. The 29 included five consecutive birdies, which ties the U.S. Senior Open record. Blake is the sixth player to record five birdies in a row at a Senior Open. He finished with a 5-under-par 65, which ties the second-lowest second-round score in championship history.
Driving Distance Leader: Steve Lowry - 316 yards
Fairways Hit: Bernhard Langer - 82%
Greens In Regulation: Bernhard Langer - 92%
Putts: Tom Kite - 1.44
Birdies: Jay Don Blake - 11
TC Chen made the cut in his return to a major championship in Michigan. Chen, if you will remember, made that infamous double hit in the 1985 US Open that cost him the Championship.
Notables missing the cut: Kenny Perry, Hal Sutton, Hale Irwin, Larry Nelson.
Notes and Statistics via USGA
Overheard at the US Senior Open:
Two guys were arguing about whether Tom Kite’s upcoming putt would be for par or bogey. A woman turned to them and said in a definitive tone: “It’s for par.”
One of the guys started to count shots from the tee, but she cut him short:
“I ought to know. I’m his wife.”
End of conversation.
Photo courtesy of http://www.usga.org
Professional Caddy Lance Ten Broeck leads the US Senior Open after two rounds, surprising even himself:
“I’m very surprised to be where I’m at. When I came here, I knew I was playing pretty good in spite of having not really played much. But I figured I should be able to make the cut, but I never figured that I’d be in the last group on Saturday.”
Ten Broeck currently caddies for PGA Tour player Tim Herron, and has done stints with Robert Allenby and Jesper Parnevik. Ten Broeck is more than your average caddy, though. He played in 349 PGA Tour events in his career making the cut 159 times including ten top-10 finishes. His best finish in an official PGA Tour event was a stand-alone 2nd at the 1991 Chattanooga Classic. His best finish in a major was a T-31 at the 1991 U.S. Open.
Those 150+ made cuts give him conditional status on the PGA Tour, which has led to a couple of unusual situations. When David Berganio withdrew from the 2009 Valero Texas Open, Ten Broeck stepped into his place. He caddied for Jesper Parnevik in the morning, then borrowed a set of clubs from Richard Johnson and played in the afternoon. He reversed the feat the next day. Rounds of 71-70 were’t enough to make the cut, but are nothing short of remarkable considering the spur-of-the-moment nature and the physical strain.
Ten Broeck tried to repeat the feat at the Mayakoba in 2010 while caddying for Richard Johnson, but withdrew after shooting five over.
So Ten Broeck has game, which is all the more remarkable for the limited number of rounds he plays each year—just 25 to 30. As Tiger would say, to be a better player, he needs more “reps.”
Tom Kite, who is one back and will play with Ten Broeck on Saturday says the caddy has game:
Lance is a good player. He hasn’t been playing much, so I think it’s a little bit of a surprise, but he’s a talented guy. I played a bunch of golf with Lance when he was in Austin. He’s had so much talent for so many years and just, in a lot of people’s minds, didn’t take advantage of all the talent that he has. Obviously, he’s playing very well right now. It will be good to watch him play.
Kite and Ten Broeck both are Longhorns. Kite was a first- or second-team All-American between 1970-72, while Ten Broeck was an All-American honorable mention in 1975-76.
If he manages to win this weekend, Ten Broeck will find himself in the unusual spot of writing a winner’s check to his caddy instead of receiving the caddy’s cut. But not to worry: on his bag this week is his son.
For my money, the real heroes of any golf tournament are not the players, but the thousands of volunteers, without whom nothing is possible. This week at the US Senior Open, Indianwood Golf Club has mustered some 2,400 volunteer staff who work simply for the love of the game and their community. They also get a nifty shirt—although at some tournaments I know that the volunteers have to pay for those.
The marshals on each hole, “crossing guards,” sign carriers, walking scorers, and perhaps even the scoreboard keepers could be considered the “glamour” jobs among the volunteers. They at least get to see the players and the tournament. But for every volunteer that spectators see on the course, there are others standing for hours in hot dusty parking lots, guarding entry ways, delivering supplies, taking inventory, picking up trash, selling concessions and accomplishing other necessary tasks that don’t give them any time to take in the excitement. Some make it to the grounds only when they’re off-shift.
I once worked a PGA Tour tournament at a corporate hospitality tent and saw exactly nothing of the event.
Even the “glamour” jobs aren’t that glamorous, however. Hole marshals stand for hours in the sun and heat, trying to keep their focus on the flight of players’ balls. They regularly rotate their spots on each hole and have different shifts, but the ones I talked to said it was still pretty taxing. And having served as a walking scorekeeper at high school tournaments, I can assure you that’s a mentally draining job.
So on behalf of everyone who enjoys a good golf tournament, I’d like to say thank you to the volunteers.
For many years, I’ve run the Ridiculous Golf Item Of The Week Award, pointing out various golf gadgets, trinkets, tchotchkes, home decorations, etc. that I deem humorous, wacky, preposterous, or utterly useless. This is done with a completely conscious sense of irony because at…
PRO ACTIVE SPORTS Ultimittens Push Cart Mitts Grade: A Teacher’s Comments: An essential piece of winter golfing equipment. I’ve got just one thing to say about Ultimittens: Brilliant! ProActive Sports’ Ultimittens are a set of heavy duty, waterproof, windproof mittens designed to attach to…
Amazon’s got a Sony Reader on sale for $70. It’s a refurb, but I’ve had this exact model for more than a year now, and it also was a refurb. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. I get my books at Kobo books…