Roger Chapman’s chances of signing off his dream 2012 campaign with a victory in Mauritius remain intact after an opening round of two under par 70 in the MCB Tour Championship.
The double Senior Major Champion has already sealed the European Senior Tour Order of Merit but he is trying to follow Rory McIlroy’s example on The European Tour off picking up the trophy after winning the final event of the season.
McIlroy achieved that winning the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai having already clinched the Race to Dubai, and Chapman’s attempt to follow suit got off to the perfect start when he birdied the first hole at Constance Belle Mare Plage.
He dropped a shot at the next hole but bounced straight back with a birdie on the third before getting up and down for another on the fourth. Chapman then rolled in a ten foot putt on the eighth, but his round was derailed by a double bogey on the 12th when his approach shot clipped a branch and found the water next to the green.
He regained one of those shots on the 14th hole to sign for a two under par round of 70, to sit six shots behind leader David Frost in a share of eighth position.
“I started off reasonably and was two under through four holes and picked up another shot on the eighth but then on the 12th I was in the rough and it was sitting up nicely for a nine iron but I just didn’t connect with it and it hit an overhanging tree,” said Chapman.
“I then had a drop and chipped up close but missed that putt, so it was a bit disappointing. Then I hit it to the front edge on the last hole but three putted. So I think 70 was about right overall.
“I didn’t play particularly well but I didn’t play particularly badly. I want to put in a good performance this week. I don’t want to finish down the field so I’m trying to do the best I can.”
“It would be great to finish with a win like Rory did in Dubai and Tom Lehman did in Arizona on the Champions Tour, but Frosty is going mad at the moment. It’s one of those courses though that if you get it going you can score 66 quite easily.
“A couple of years ago when I lost to Frosty in the play-off I shot 67 and 65 in the last two rounds and I would probably need that again this week.”
Chapman was playing alongside defending champion Lehman who opened with a one under par round of 71.