We lead off with the Champions Tour this week because they've just completed their first major championship of 2012, the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Michigan.
Englishman Roger Chapman had never won on the Champions Tour. In fact the highlight of his golf career was a win on the European Tour back in 2000. Champman started the tournament with the lead on the first day and never gave it up. By the 7th hole of his final round Sunday Chapman had built up a NINE stroke lead.
Chapman thought of his mentor George Will during those last holes, letting his game wander a bit. But with a nine shot lead, he was still able to win comfortably by two shots over John Cook and three shots over the impressively surging Hale Irwin.
"In the back of your mind you think, `Can I blow a five-shot lead?' The negative man sitting on your shoulder there, telling you all the things that could happen. It is difficult, when you haven't been in that position before." ~Roger Chapman
The hottest golfer on the planet is Jason Dufner. It looked like Dufner would be the first player to notch three wins on the PGA Tour this past weekend as he came into the final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth Texas with the lead. He and Zach Johnson had separated from the field.
Dufner struggled in the final round, finding water twice. The 2nd water shot resulted in a triple-bogy on the 15th hole. Dufner's struggles opened up the opportunity for Jach Johnson to record his first win in two years. With a three shot lead on the 18th hole it was but a formality when Johnson made the winning putt, or was it? Johnson had moved his mark out of Duner's line but forgot to move it back to its original position before putting out. That resulted in a two stroke penalty (we will cover that in Tuesday tips soon!). Thankfully for Johnson he still recorded the victory as his cushion was large enough to absorb the penalty.
Strange and interesting final round no doubt.
Not all was lost for Jason Dufner. He now sits in first place in FedEx Cup points, has the obvious lead for Player of the Year and of course leads the PGA Tour money list. All of this with the season not even to the half way mark. Can Dufner keep up his fantastic play the rest of the season?