BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — After playing only one event on the European Senior Tour, Roger Chapman showed up at the Senior PGA Championship in fine form.
Chapman shot 3-under-par 68 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at Harbor Shores. Chapman tied for 16th this month in the Mallorca Open – and that’s about all he’s done this season.
“We have only played one event in Europe this year, so this is probably my fourth real competitive round this year,” the Englishman said. “It’s a long way to come, a long wait. But I’m very pleased with the way things are going.”
John Cook is a stroke back, and Steve Pate, J.L. Lewis, Jeff Sluman, Jay Haas, David Frost and Jim Carter shot 70.
Chapman tied for 27th last year in the Senior PGA in Kentucky, his best showing in his first three starts in the major championship.
Four-time champion Hale Irwin shot 71. He last won the event in 2004, but finished fourth last year.
Fred Couples, who won at Fallen Oak in Mississippi on the Champions Tour in March, made double bogey on the par-5 15th and had 76.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Virginia Water, England, Peter Lawrie and David Drysdale share the first-round lead at 6-under-par 66 in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Justin Rose is a stroke back along with Alvaro Quiros, Niclas Fasth and Richard S. Johnson and Jamie Donaldson in the European Tour’s flagship event.
Second-ranked Luke Donald, the 2011 champ, topped a group at 68. Top-ranked Rory McIlroy had 74.
NCAA WOMEN: In Franklin, Tenn., Alabama’s double-digit lead dwindled on the back nine, and the Crimson Tide finished with a two-stroke lead over Southern California after the third round of the NCAA Division I women’s championship.
Oklahoma’s Chirapat Jao-Javanil shot 2-under 70 for a share of the individual lead with Arizona State’s Giulia Molinaro at 4-under 212. Molinaro had 72.
Alabama finished the round at 18-over 306 and has a 13-over 877 total.