2014 Senior PGA Championship interview with: ROGER CHAPMAN


2014 Senior PGA Championship interview with: ROGER CHAPMAN

May 21, 2014

KELLY ELBIN: Returning to the site of his finest moment in professional golf, 2012 Senior PGA champion, Roger Chapman joining us at the 75th Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid. Roger, it's been a fast two years, but I'm sure that coming back here to Harbor Shores, I know you've been here a time or two before, but coming back here in a competitive environment, remembering what happened two years ago must be extraordinarily special.

ROGER CHAPMAN: It is. I played the pro-am yesterday and I probably sort of recalled every shot I played two years ago. I could tell you where I hit my tee shot, where I hit my second shot, what putt I holed, but it was very special to come back here, as you say, in a competitive capacity.

I came back a couple of times, did a media day last year and did an outing for KitchenAid with the Boys & Girls Club in August time, which was good.

Yeah, just walking up the 18th yesterday, you know, just brought back so many memories. The hairs on the back of my neck were sort of going up-and-down. No, it's very special.

KELLY ELBIN: Your life has changed so much obviously with winning the U.S. Senior Open in the great State of Michigan a little later that year, 2012 certainly must rank professionally as the greatest year of your life, right.

ROGER CHAPMAN: By some stretch. Yeah, I mean literally it's been wonderful to me. I think that was it Gary Koch interviewed me after I had won the Senior Open and he said, what's it about you and Michigan? And I had just seen the ad for it and I just came up with, "It's Pure Michigan," and the crowd went nuts. So obviously I said the right thing.

But, yeah, it's a special place in my heart. To do what I did in 2012 is, I mean, it's what dreams are made of. Not many people have done it, I think that I'm the fourth person to have done it. So behind three fantastic wonderful golfers, Nicklaus, Player and Irwin, so very special times.

KELLY ELBIN: Talk about the golf course that you have seen now and the couple practice rounds, versus two years ago. Anything appreciably different.

ROGER CHAPMAN: Well the 17th green and hole, really. It's longer, set at a slightly different angle. I seem to remember we went a little bit further left with the old green. They sort of flattened it out a bit as well, the green. And it's a good hole now. It was a good hole before, but I think once you hit the green, you got a fair chance of sort of staying on the green this time, whereas, before you had run off areas and everything. So that was the only sort of changes I've seen.

I think they raised the tee on 18 a little bit, to give you a bit more perspective with your tee shot.

It will give you a little bit more room on 7.

But apart from that I think everything is exactly how it was two years ago.

KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions.

Q. Is the state of your game such that you expect to be in contention again over the next four days?

ROGER CHAPMAN: Yeah, I struggled a bit last year, I went off the ball a bit sort of midway through the season and lost confidence and everything. But this year I've been much steadier, nothing special, but sort of hanging around there, like a bad smell.

(Laughter.)

But I've played steady. 68 last round at Regions Tradition last week, I sort of found a little something, which is just in time, really.

To answer your question, yeah, I feel good and I think the momentum from two years ago will carry me through. Everybody out on the course has been so supportive, "welcome back" and, "do it again" sort of thing. So, yeah, it's a good feeling and hopefully I'll be there on Sunday.

Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a couple of years ago you said that you ate at the same restaurant each night of the week during the tournament.

ROGER CHAPMAN: Yeah.

Q. Is that going to be the case this year?

ROGER CHAPMAN: Oh yes going tonight. 8 o'clock. It's booked. Yeah. Last year was or two years ago was just, I'm not normally superstitious, but this particular week I was. To go to the Grand Mere Inn and play well the next day and then I thought, well, I'll go back there again. And after the third round, I just had to go back.

So, yeah, we're going to go tonight. And we're going to eat with the Clampett's, just the four of us going to have a good meal there.

KELLY ELBIN: How did you get to know Bobby? He and David Frost were particularly close to you two years ago.

ROGER CHAPMAN: Yeah, both of them were very good to me in 2011, my first year on the Champions Tour. Frosty, I've known for many, many years, nearly 30 years now. I got to know Bobby Clampett a lot in 2011. I stayed at Bobby's place and Frosty looked after me, telling me where to go and what flights to get, etcetera, getting to the next tournaments. So, yeah, we have a great relationship, the three of us.

I wasn't too pleased with the flight he picked there after the win, because I had a night flight back to London that night and the people next to me must have thought, wow, an alcoholic.

(Laughter.)

But, no, they have been very good. Good mates.

Q. I understand you had a pretty special caddie today. Can you tell us about that?

ROGER CHAPMAN: Yeah, Chris, well, it came about, I did an outing for KitchenAid with the Boys & Girls Club here last August. They were raising money then. And I Jeff, we were doing the auction and I said to Jeff Fettig, I've got this idea, what do you think? He says, yeah, run with it. So I introduced it as a somebody to caddie for me for the day and all the proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club.

Some idiot paid $8,000.

(Laughter.) And Jeff Fettig put it up to 10,000. He put the extra two in. But the guy I think, one of his family his children was feeling poorly, so he couldn't do it. So Jeff organized for an ex-RAF guy that fought in Iraq to caddie for me. And, yeah, it was a good day. He enjoyed it. I hope that -- we have got him tickets and everything.

I think for military, personally, I don't think we do enough in the U.K. for our troops when they come home, so it's nice to do something for these guys and give them a bit of a spur.

Q. Is there something in particular about this course that played well to your strengths back in 2012 or was it just one of those spans that you just kind of had it going?

ROGER CHAPMAN: Obviously, I played well, but it was -- you hear it all the time -- the course fits my eye. I got on to every tee and could see a shot. Sometimes you get on to golf courses and you get on to tees and you think -- well, like Regions Tradition last week at Shoal Creek, I get to that third hole and I cannot hit the fairway. I'm left bunker every time. It just doesn't suit me.

But this course, touch wood, I got on every tee and every on the short holes and just felt that I knew exactly where I was going to hit the ball and felt comfortable with it all and it just suits my game, I think. I can't explain it any other way than that.

Q. If you could just reiterate maybe what it meant to you to win and how much it would mean again to capture another Senior PGA Championship on this course.

ROGER CHAPMAN: Well, I think that, I mean, you ask any golfer what they would like to do, and I think they would come back and say, I would love to win a Major. Whether it be on the main TOUR or the Champions Tour. A Major's a Major.

To actually win one was just so special. But then to, I said to myself, look, I don't want this to be a one hit wonder sort of thing and I wanted to do it again to prove that it wasn't a bit of a flash in the pan. And little did I know sort of 50 days later that I was going to win the U.S. Open as well.

So sort of proved to myself and maybe proved to other people that I can do it and have done it. One thing everybody will say, they will never take your name off the trophy.

So, to have done it, it's a culmination of all the work and all the practice and all the trials and tribulations and the emotions that you go through to get Tour goal of winning a Major.

I think everybody will probably answer it the similar way.

KELLY ELBIN: You have your wife here with you this year. Must be neat to be able to introduce her to some of the things here and also begin the Grand Mere tradition tonight.

ROGER CHAPMAN: Yeah, we had, she's had lunch there, because we did the media day and so she has been there, but this is the start of a tradition now. So, yeah, it's nice to have her here. Obviously, I came out just for the week two years ago, so I didn't bring her with me. But it was nice that she was in Indianwood in Michigan to be there for the second one.

It's going to be special for her to be walking around with me this week. I hope she enjoys it, I'm going to enjoy it, and I hope the weather stays fair and doesn't get, blow too windy. But, yeah, she's looking forward to it and I'm looking forward to it too.

KELLY ELBIN: Roger Chapman, thank you, and best of luck.

ROGER CHAPMAN: Thank you.

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