Power Rankings: Senior PGA Championship

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Editor's note: Vartan Kupelian is the Champions Tour Insider and a PGATOUR.COM Contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 5 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.

The Champions Tour kicks off its major championship season this week with the Senior PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

SENIOR PGA

Defending champion Roger Chapman will defend the title he won last year at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Chapman started his rise to the top of the Champions Tour with a stirring victory at Harbor Shores. Seven weeks later, the unheralded Englishman added a second Champions Tour major title when he captured the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club.

Chapman carved out an unlikely 9-stroke lead at Harbor Shores for plenty of cushion on his way to a wire-to-wire win. His 13-under 271 total was good for a two-shot victory over John Cook. Hale Irwin was another shot back after a closing 68.

With the Senior PGA Championship, Bellerive Club will become only the third course to host the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, the U.S. Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championship.

This week’s Power Rankings for the Senior PGA Championship:

Power Rankings: Senior PGA Championship
Rank Player   Comment
Bernhard LANGER Bernhard LANGER Already a two-time winner this year, he’s the man to beat these days every time he tees it up in a Champions Tour event. No. 1 in total driving and all-around statistics, second in scoring average (68.86). T4 last year at Harbor Shores.
John COOK John COOK The runner-up in ’12, he’s played solid golf this year, beginning with a victory in the season-opener in Hawaii. No. 3 on the Charles Schwab Cup points list behind Langer and David Frost.
Esteban TOLEDO Esteban TOLEDO He might be the hottest player on the Champions Tour. Toledo is coming off a victory at the Insperity Championship and has posted top-7 finishes in four of his last five starts. Not bad for a guy who had only conditional status to start the year.
Tom PERNICE JR. Tom PERNICE JR. The Insperity Championship wasn’t his best but the Pernice of the first two months certainly is a contender this week. He had four top-3 finishes in his first five events.
Roger CHAPMAN Roger CHAPMAN Let’s give the defending champion some respect. His victory last year at Harbor Shores was stunning and it shaped the next four major championships. Can he do it again?
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