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Chapman closes strong, takes U.S. Senior Open

LAKE ORION, Mich. – Roger Chapman has joined impressive company.

The Englishman shot 4-under 66 on Sunday to win the U.S. Senior Open by two strokes at 10-under 270.

Chapman, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Hale Irwin are the only players to win the U.S. Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship in the same year.

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

Bernhard Langer (72), Fred Funk (67), Tom Lehman (68) and Corey Pavin (68) finished tied for second at 272 at the Champions Tour’s fourth of five majors.

Langer, who took a four-shot lead into the final round, said Saturday if he closed with a 2- or 3-under round, it would be difficult for anyone to catch him.

When the German had a double bogey at No. 2, he gave Chapman a chance to pass him.

The wind picked up considerably Sunday – with gusts up to 20 mph – to make it even tougher to keep tee shots on the unforgiving and tight fairways and to accurately approach hard, undulating greens.

Chapman answered the challenge for much of the day with two birdies on the front nine and four through 14 holes. He chunked a shot out of the bunker on
No. 16, leading to a bogey that he made moot on the next hole.

The 53-year-old Chapman stepped to the potentially pivotal 195-yard, par-3 17th and calmly hit a tee shot that was close enough for a tap-in birdie to restore a two-shot lead.

■ PGA – At Silvis, Ill., Zach Johnson won the John Deere Classic on the second playoff hole, hitting his second shot to one foot for a birdie to beat Troy Matteson.

After Johnson and Matteson double-bogeyed the 18th on their first playoff hole, with both players launching shots into the water, Johnson hit a 193-yard second shot from a bunker to 12 inches from the cup, again on the 18th. Matteson needed to sink a 43-footer to match Johnson’s birdie, but didn’t get the putt to the hole.

It was Johnson’s second win of the season and ninth of his career.

Johnson birdied three of the last six holes in regulation, taking the lead until Matteson sank a 60-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th. Johnson shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 to finish at 20-under 264. Matteson shot a 69.

Three-time defending champion Steve Stricker played himself out of contention with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 as he finished four strokes back at 16-under 269, tying for fifth with Luke Guthrie, whose finishing 64 came in his second tournament as a professional.

Former Bonanza High School standout Scott Piercy finished third, two strokes back, after a 65. Piercy’s round included only two birdies on the back nine, but his consistent play allowed him to pass Stricker and John Senden, who went birdie-eagle on the 14th and 15th to get within a stroke of the lead before bogeying the next two holes.

■ EUROPEAN PGA – At Inverness, Scotland, Jeev Milkha Singh beat Francesco Molinari in a playoff to win the Scottish Open and secure a berth in this week’s British Open.

A final-round meltdown by local hope Marc Warren left Singh and Molinari tied at 17-under 271. The 40-year-old Indian won by draining a 15-foot putt for birdie on No. 18.

Singh shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to tie for the lowest round of the day. Warren (70) and overnight leader Molinari (72) dropped shots down a tough closing stretch into the wind.

Warren, also seeking that one remaining berth in the British Open, led by three shots with six holes remaining. But he faltered under pressure and dropped four strokes in the final four holes to finish tied for third.

A fierce westerly wind and heavy rain at times proved too much for top-ranked Luke Donald (73) and Phil Mickelson (74), who both finished tied for 16th at 12-under 276.

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