Defending Champ Chapman Among Notables to Miss Cut

With his 1-under 69 on Friday, five-time USGA champion Hale Irwin surpassed Jack Nicklaus for the most sub-par U.S. Senior Open rounds with 27. (USGA/John Mummert)
By Dave Shedloski
July 12, 2013

OMAHA, Neb. – Roger Chapman’s reign as U.S. Senior Open champion came to a quick and quiet end Friday at Omaha Country Club when the Englishman carded a second-round 76 and departed the championship at 10-over 150.

“I just played rubbish, that was it,” Chapman, 54, said, not mincing words. “Drove the ball terrible. Had one birdie. That's it.”

That was it. Chapman, who joined Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Hale Irwin as the only players to win the U.S. Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championship in the same season, missed his first cut of the season and became the first man since Allen Doyle in 2007 to miss the cut as defending champion.

Chapman has been battling a bad shoulder for most of the year, and it forced him to withdraw from the U.S. Open at Merion, though he continued to play on the Champions Tour. He said the injury wasn’t to blame for his poor play. He hit just 12 fairways in two rounds, and on Friday he found just seven of 18 greens in regulation.

“If you can’t hit a fairway out here, you can’t score. Simple as that,” he said. “It’s not what I wanted. I had a great 12 months in the USGA.

“I have no excuses. I’ve just played poorly,” added Chapman, who was born in Kenya and lives in Ascot, England. “Been here [in the U.S.] 3 1/2 months, and I’m ready to go home for a bit. I’m wrung out.”

Omaha Country Club proved to be a sufficient test to wring out the field with its undulating topography and tricky greens. The cut of low 60 and ties fell at 5-over 145, with 64 players qualifying for the final two rounds.

One of the notable survivors was Irwin, a two-time U.S. Senior Open champion and three-time U.S. Open winner. The former University of Colorado defensive back went on offense late, converting birdies on three of his last four holes – mixed in with three par saves – to shoot 1-under 69. He passed Jack Nicklaus for most sub-par rounds in championship history with his 27th sub-par score.

Irwin closed in the red when he hit a 3-wood to 6 feet for birdie at the 475-yard, par-4 eighth hole and then sank a 25-footer for birdie at No. 9.

“Move over, Jack,” Irwin said with a laugh. “You know, over the years Jack has set the bar for all of us and said, ‘Come and catch me if you can.’ I was totally unaware of this, but it’s nice when you can say that you beat Jack Nicklaus at anything.”

Irwin, who has won a record 45 Champions Tour titles to go with 20 PGA Tour wins, also extended his own record with his 21st round in the 60s, four more than Nicklaus and seven more than third-place Dave Stockton, the 1996 Senior Open winner.

Other former Senior Open champions playing the final two days are Fred Funk (70-137), Eduardo Romero (141) and Bernhard Langer (74-142). In addition to Chapman, Dave Eichelberger missed at 76-155. Graham Marsh withdrew with a hip injury after shooting 87. Peter Jacobsen withdrew midway through the first round.

U.S. Open champions fared better, led by Irwin and 63-year-old Tom Watson, who shot his second 70. The 60s brigade also included Tom Kite, 63, who scrambled to 75-145, and Larry Nelson, 65, who birdied his last hole for a 72 and 145 total to sneak in. Corey Pavin also advanced after 73-142.

U.S. Amateur champions Mark O’Meara (71-138) and John Cook (70-142) are sticking around as well.

U.S. Open and Amateur champion Jerry Pate, who opened with a respectable 71, never made it to the tee in Round 2, withdrawing because of illness. Steve Jones (74) and Scott Simpson (77), who also have U.S. Open titles on their resumes, went home after each carded 150.

Mark Calcavecchia, a native of Laurel, Neb., shot a second-round 73 and made the cut on the number at 145.

Doug Hanzel, 56, will earn low-amateur honors for the second year in a row, provided he completes 72 holes. He was the lone amateur to make it to the weekend, shooting a second-round 70 for a 144 total. By virtue of being the only amateur remaining, Hanzel, an Ohio native who now resides in Savannah, Ga., , will earn a berth into this year’s U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and USGA Senior Amateur, as well as the 2014 U.S. Senior Open. He tied for 53rd last year.

Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @usopengolf
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image