Two-time Senior Major Champion Roger Chapman insists that a positive result at the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles, the final event of the 2018 Staysure Tour season, would be a bonus after returning from shoulder surgery earlier this year.
Chapman, who completed an historic double in 2012 after winning both the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open in the same season, had to secure at least a top five finish at last week’s MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius to guarantee his place in the season finale at Constance Lemuria.
The Englishman recorded his best result since that memorable season, finishing third and jumping inside the top 29 on the Order of Merit to join the 32-man field at this week’s event.
“I was under a lot of pressure last week because we’d already booked our flights to come to Seychelles,” said Chapman. “I knew I needed to finish inside the top five to give myself a chance, so I was delighted to finish third.
“I was good under the pressure, holed some nice putts and my all-round game was good. I’m delighted that I made it here of my own accord. There’s 32 players this week, so it’s going to be very tight. There are some guys playing well.”
Chapman played in the season-opening event in Sharjah in March before undergoing surgery, and then made his return to action at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at the end of July.
He finished in a share of fourth place at the Willow Senior Golf Classic and recorded a tied tenth result at the Costa Blanca Benidorm Senior Masters the week before last week’s third-placed finish.
“After surgery, I had a fourth at Willow and third last week. I’m delighted with the comeback. All my focus was on next season, I’ve been in the gym and doing pilates so I was looking ahead to the new year – anything that happens this week is a bonus.”
“One to 12 is okay, then from 13 onwards it is different and it’s tough. The views are spectacular but it’s very tight.”
One of the co-designers of the golf course on the islands of Praslin in Seychelles, Frenchman Marc Farry, who is in the field this week, spoke of his pride at having a Staysure Tour event held at a venue he played a part in creating.
“It’s an incredible feeling, it’s the first time it has happened for me so it’s difficult to describe,” said Farry. “To have a strong, international, professional event at this golf course and here in the Seychelles, which isn’t a golf destination yet – I’m over the moon.
“The comments I’ve received are very encouraging. The weather is so different in this part of the world, so you have to be careful with the grass. It rains a lot and you have to maintain the conditions as best as you can.
“We’ve made some minor changes over the years, but the reactions from my colleagues have been fantastic, not just about the golf course but the facilities here too.
“It’s an incredible achievement to have a golf tournament in the Seychelles. There has been a lot of work by Constance Hotels, MCB our sponsors over the last two weeks, and now it’s happening I couldn’t be more proud.”
Competitors in the final event of the season will compete in two balls, with players using buggies from the 13thhole onwards due to the hilly nature of the back nine at Constance Lemuria.