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Chapman cards nine birdies in third-round 66

PGA.com
Chapman cards nine birdies in third-round 66
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(The PGA of America)

By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer

ST. LOUIS -- Roger Chapman put himself in a tough position to defend his title after the first two rounds of the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid -- shooting 72-74 to barely make the cut on the number.

But despite digging himself into that 4-over hole at blustery Bellerive Country Club, and having a 6:57 AM CT tee time for Saturday, Chapman showed he was not prepared to relinquish the Alfred S. Bourne trophy without a spirited fight. The tall Englishman fired an impressive 5-under-par 66 that included nine birdies to vault up the leaderboard on moving day.

"I bogeyed the first and I thought, well, here we go," Chapman said following his third round. "Getting up at five o'clock for bogey at the first.

"But then I had four birdies in a row. So that sort of got the momentum going, which I severely lacked the first two rounds."

Chapman, who also won the U.S. Senior Open last year, had one of the most colorful scorecards of the day, with four bogeys and five pars to go with his nine birdies in the round. His four straight birdies came on holes 2-5. He also added birdies at 8, 11, 15, 17 and 18, where he made a curling 35-foot putt, to move up 47 spots into a then-tie for 21st. It may not be enough to earn him a successful defense of his title but it served notice that he was not here in a ceremonial role.

"I think that the first two rounds you're a bit under pressure to put in a good defense and probably thinking about just making the cut was the wrong attitude," Chapman stated. "The last few holes yesterday afternoon I sort of messed up and all of a sudden you're on the cut line and you're thinking, well, don't defend and miss the cut. So, but now I made the cut, the pressure's off a bit, just go out and play and that's what I did."

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