Roger Chapman (Getty Images)
Defending Champion Roger Chapman of England, who turned in perhaps golf's most amazing success story of 2012, heads a stellar list of 23 international entries for the 74th US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, May 23-26, at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri.
Chapman, who turns 54 on May 1, stunned the golf world last year at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan, by capturing the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. It was Chapman's first professional victory since 2000.
Less than two months later, he went on to win the US Senior Open title, also in the state of Michigan. In the process, he became the first Englishman to win a US Senior PGA Championship and third from his homeland to win on the Champions Tour.
Next month at the renowned Bellerive Country Club, Chapman will be part of a 156-player field representing 12 countries in the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf. Chasing Chapman for a senior crown is Germany's Bernhard Langer, who owns a combined 21 titles in senior golf, and two top five finishes in the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
Final entries to the Championship will be made on April 19. It will mark the second senior Major to be conducted at Bellerive, and first since Peter Jacobsen won the 2004 US Senior Open there.
Joining Chapman among the early entrants are four other past US Senior PGA Champions: US Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson (2001, 2011), Hale Irwin (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004), Tom Wargo (1993) and Mike Reid (2005).
There are currently 12 past Major champions in the field: Mark Calcavecchia, Irwin, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Andy North, Mark O'Meara, Nick Price, Scott Simpson, Jeff Sluman, Curtis Strange, Watson, and Ian Woosnam.
The US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid is the oldest event on the Champions Tour, originating in 1937 at Augusta National Golf Club at the invitation of the legendary amateur Bobby Jones. The US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid will feature 12 hours of live television coverage on NBC and Golf Channel, with viewership in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide. Tickets to the 74th US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid are available by visiting SPGA2013.com.
Among the world-class field are 35 PGA club professionals, including reigning US Senior PGA Professional National Champion Jim Woodward of Edmond, Oklahoma. 35 members of the contingent earned a berth last October in the Southworth US Senior PGA Professional National Championship in Aldie, Virginia.