Roger Chapman claimed his first title in over six years at the inaugural Indian Ocean Swing in the Seychelles on Sunday, beating Philip Price in a playoff
It was an emotional moment for double senior major champion Roger Chapman, who was unable to hold back the tears after holing out for eagle on the first playoff hole to win for the first time since lifting the 2012 Senior U.S Open trophy.
The 59-year-old from Berkshire put himself back in the winners' circle on Sunday after capturing the final tournament of the Staysure Tour season - which was the historic first-ever major professional golf event in the Seychelles - at the Constance Lemuria resort on Praslin island.
"I apologise for being so emotional but I haven't won in a while. Not only that but I was in a sling earlier in the year after undergoing shoulder surgery and, to be honest, I didn't think I would be here," said Chapman, who shocked the golfing world six years ago when he picked up two senior major titles.
He was sidelined for around three months earlier in the year with his shoulder problem but his form and confidence have slowly been coming back - he warmed up for the second and final stage of the Indian Ocean swing by coming third in Mauritius.
"It's great to be the King of the Swing," he joked.
It was Chapman's third senior tour success and he certainly did it in style at the gorgeous Constance Lemuria resort on Praslin, the second biggest of the 100 plus Seychelles islands. In fact he did it against all the odds, being seven shots back of red-hot Spanish favourite Miguel Angel Martin going into the third and final round.
But Martin had a nightmare, probably as a result of a controversial opening round rules incident which upset fellow players and officials and crashed out of contention with his flawless 2nd round fifty nine - achieved on a shortened course owing to heavy rains - in vain.
Chapman though ended in a blaze of glory, his -3 score putting him in a play-off with Welsh favourite Phil Price after both Martin and American Tom Lehman blew their chances at the spectacular but highly dangerous par five 18th with the Spaniard signing off with a triple bogey.
Price briefly looked to be in the driving seat in the play-off as his second shot landed about 12ft short of the hole to present a good eagle chance, but it was Chapman who would provide the fireworks.
Chapman holed out from the fringe of the green double the distance away for an eagle of his own and Price had to settle for a birdie and second best, a shot clear of former Open Champion Lehman with Martin eventually having to share fourth spot with South African James Kingston.
It wasn't to be for Paul Broadhurst and former Masters champion Ian Woosnam though the former did step up to collect the John Jacobs Trophy after winning another Order of Merit title. After shooting a 2nd round 80; Woosie must have felt like packing up his bags for an early departure - even from such as an exotic place as the Seychelles.
As it turned out, only eight of the 32 strong field finished under par and there is no doubt that the course and the land of Coco de Mer - the sea coconut endemic to Praslin - proved a worthy opponent and a very hard nut to crack.....