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Chapman leads Senior Tour major

May 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., May 24 (UPI) -- Roger Chapman fought through blustery winds on a difficult course Thursday to become the surprise first-round leader at the Senior PGA Championship.

The Englishman, whose only European Tour victory came 12 years ago, shot a 3-under 68 at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Golf Club at Harbor Shores.

John Cook was alone in second at the first Champions Tour major event of the year, having shot a 69. The only other players under par were Jay Haas, Jeff Sluman, J.L. Lewis, Steve Pate, David Frost and Jim Carter, all at 1-under 70.

Chapman is a member of the European Senior Tour, which has had only one tournament thus far this year.

"This is only my fourth real competitive round this year," Chapman said. "It's a long way to come, but I'm very pleased with the way things are going."

Among those at 71 were Bobby Clampett, Jay Don Blake and 66-year-old Hale Irwin.

Defending champion Tom Watson had to pull out of the event due to a wrist injury.

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