Roger Chapman is hoping to complete an historic hat-trick of Senior Major Championship titles when he joins a star-studded field for The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, from July 24-27.
The Englishman re-wrote the record books in 2012 when he captured both the US Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open, going on to lift the John Jacobs Trophy as the Number One player for the year on the European Senior Tour.
However, Chapman admits his record in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex is far less notable, having made only one cut in five appearances and been forced to retire at Turnberry two years ago when he was going for the ‘clean sweep’ of Senior Majors – a feat only achieved once before, by the legendary Gary Player, in 1987.
Chapman is keen to make up for those past frustrations at Wales’ first Senior Major in July, however, as he seeks to become the first European to complete the Senior Grand Slam.
“It would be a dream come true to win The Senior Open Championship and to have won all three Senior Majors,” he said. “To do a Grand Slam would be cracking – you’d have to pinch me to wake me up.
“It was a bit unfortunate that I had to pull out injured at Turnberry a couple of years ago when I was playing so well. To win the Senior Open Championship would be the icing on the cake of my senior career.
“I’ve always seemed to play better in the US Senior PGA Championship, and I’ve always struggled a little in The Senior Open for some reason. At Sunningdale and Carnoustie I missed the cut, then at Turnberry I had to pull out and at Birkdale last year I missed the cut. I haven’t covered myself in glory in our Senior Open, so maybe I’m due one.”
Chapman played in the Coral Welsh Classic at Royal Porthcawl in his first season on The European Tour in 1982, a tournament won by his close friend Gordon Brand Jnr, and he returned to the Bridgend links for the Wales Senior Open in 2009 and 2010.
The 54 year old is looking forward to another stern examination of links golf when it hosts The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex for the first time.
“It is a great golf course,” he said. “We played the Wales Senior Open there, and I played the Coral Welsh Classic there in 1982. It is a good test of golf. We are playing it slightly differently, with the 18th as the first, but if the wind blows it is a beast of a golf course.”
Since his Senior Major double two years ago, Chapman has enjoyed his new status amongst some of the game’s greatest names, such as Fred Couples, Langer and Tom Watson, all of whom will join in in the field at Royal Porthcawl.
“It’s great rubbing shoulders with the top players, and it rubs off on you,” he said. “They make you feel confident. They are a great bunch of guys, and I hope a lot of them come over and support our Senior Open Championship.”
American Mark Wiebe won The 2013 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Birkdale, defeating two-time Masters Champion Langer in a play-off.
The Championship delivered the best of senior golf, with Wiebe and Langer joined in the field by stars such as Fred Couples, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson and Welshman Ian Woosnam, along with Colin Montgomerie – the man who led Europe to Ryder Cup glory at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010.
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez, the oldest winner in the history of The European Tour, will make his Senior Open debut at Royal Porthcawl.
Tickets for The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex are on sale now and can be bought online via www.senioropengolf.com or by calling +44 (0)800 0232557, with details of hospitality packages also available.