Double Senior Major champion Roger Chapman signed off his dream 2012 season by collecting the John Jacobs Trophy in Mauritius for winning the European Senior Tour Order of Merit.
Chapman’s tied 15th place finish in the MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage meant he ended the campaign with earnings of €356,751, a comfortable €72,116 ahead of Barry Lane, who sealed his second consecutive runner’s up finish in the Order of Merit courtesy of finishing joint runner-up in the tournament behind winner David Frost.
Englishman Chapman has enjoyed a magnificent year, securing his maiden Senior Tour title in style in May when he captured the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid at Harbor Shores in Michigan.
He returned to the same state in early July and made it a Michigan double, adding the US Senior Open title at Indianwood, becoming the first Englishman to win that trophy and only the fourth player in history, following Gary Player (1987), Jack Nicklaus (1991) and Hale Irwin (1998), to win both titles in the same season.
The 53 year old, who defeated Padraig Harrington in a play-off to win the Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 years Open on The European Tour in 2000, also had top five finishes in the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters and the French Riviera Masters on the Senior Tour, and had already sealed the John Jacobs Trophy prior to the season final in Mauritius.
He is the first Englishman to win the Senior Tour Order of Merit since Carl Mason in 2007, both players having preceded their spells on the Senior Tour with stints as Rules Officials following the conclusion of their European Tour careers.
His season earnings is also the second highest in the history of the Senior Tour behind Mason’s record haul of €412,376 five years ago.
“It’s a proud moment for me to finally get my hands on the John Jacobs Trophy,” he said. “I actually had lessons at the John Jacobs School when I was 12 years old so to win the trophy bearing his name is very special for me.
“To win it here in Mauritius is also special. My long term mentor George Will died while I was playing here two years ago so there are always mixed emotions for me coming back.
“I’m very proud to have achieved what I have done this year. It means a lot to me to be European Senior Tour Number One.
“I said to my wife Cathy at the start of the year that it was my goal and told no-one else. Even she thought I was mad, but I believed in myself and that I was ready. I never thought I would win two Majors as I did though.
“I’m really, really proud to have done it. The win in the US Senior PGA Championship was massive for me, but it’s been a fantastic year for me altogether.”
Lane, the winner of the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open, ended the season with earnings of €284,635, having also finished runner-up to Peter Fowler in the 2011 Order of Merit.
American Tim Thelen, a three-time winner on the Senior Tour in 2012, was third with earnings of €251,771, with Fowler holding off the challenge of Paul Wesselingh to finish fourth with €225,430.
Qualifying School graduate Wesselingh, winner of the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship, was fifth with €191,662, earning the Rookie of the Year award for 2012.
South African Chris Williams (€160,733), Englishman Gary Wolstenholme (€154,500), Sweden’s Anders Forsbrand (€152,824), Ireland’s Des Smyth (€150,500), and Germany’s Bernhard Langer (€132,108), complete the end of season top ten.
Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “It can’t be underestimated what a magnificent achievement Roger’s two Senior Major victories were this year.
“We have all known what calibre of player Roger has been over his 30 years playing tournament golf, and if ever anyone deserves recognition for this wonderful season it is him. I’m sure that John Jacobs would be delighted that Roger has received the trophy bearing his name.
“The fact that Roger has won the Order of Merit with the second highest earnings total in the 21 year history of the European Senior Tour, against an ever increasing standard of notable players, underlines what a great accomplishment this is.”