PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS INSIDER
Lehman's early Father's Day present
The winner of the 2018 Principal Charity Classic made family memories with daughter caddying
June 13, 2018
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- June 13, 2018
- Tom Lehman and his daughter Rachael Chapman pose with the champion's trophy. (Courtesy of Principal Charity Classic)
In advance of Father’s Day, Tom Lehman gave himself quite a present -- a weekend with his daughter in scenic Des Moines capped by his 11th victory on PGA TOUR Champions, all with her on the bag.
How’s that for quality time?
Lehman claimed the $262,500 winner’s check at the Principal Charity Classic at Wakonda Club. Assuming at least 10 percent for his caddie, Rachael Chapman, walks away with a tidy $26,250. It’s safe to assume more adult children would spend weekends with their parents for that kind of money.
“What I expect of a caddie is to say the right thing at the right time and she does,” Lehman said. “She's so encouraging and she's fun. She's funny. She always comes up with the right words no matter the situation, and we're just doing great out there.”
Lehman said his daughter is moving from Forth Worth back to Arizona soon so he’s sure she can use the money. Until she makes the move she has been caddying for her dad, and she has on a few occasions at the Principal Charity Classic.
“It's been a lot of fun,” said Chapman, 28, the youngest of Lehman’s four children. “I had always caddied this tournament. My siblings and I, we would get a turn each year and we would caddie for our dad and so Des Moines was always the one that I would caddie, so it's my third year.
“It's exciting that we got to win this one since it's been our thing that we do every year, so it means a lot. He's done well the past couple times I've been here. He was in the last group and the second to last group I believe, so it's about time.”
Lehman, 59, always has played well In Iowa. The Minnesota native never has finished outside the top 10 in six Principal Charity Classic starts, including five since the event moved to Wakonda Club in 2013.
2011 – T6
2013 – T7
2014 – T8
2016 – T6
2017 – T5
2018 – 1
Lehman will conjure fond memories of Wakonda for the rest of his life. In addition to his first win with one of his children on the bag, he won the Drake Relays golf tournament here 40 years ago.
“I was thinking about that, yeah. I think I was 19 maybe when we played here the first time in the Drake Relays tournament and I won, so 19 to 59, that's 40 years, 40 years of golfing experience gone by,” Leman said. “To kind of come back and win again at this level, I think it's kind of unique. It's one of those little things that nobody really knows cares about except the people who are part of it, and to me that's a nice little full circle story.”
Lehman has been a consistent winner for a very long time. Since his first professional win on the Web.com Tour in 1990, he has won at least once on the Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions or internationally in 17 of the past 28 years.
He’s close friends with Bernhard Langer, who has set the standard for staying fit and playing well beyond the age of 50.
“I'm 59, my birthday is in March so I'm three months closer to 60,” Lehman said. “But I think I'm really impressed by the quality of golf that guys are playing at this stage of the game. Bernhard Langer is 60 and he's approaching 61. There's other guys who are in their late 50s who are still playing fantastic golf. It's a testimony, I think, to number one, being fortunate with having a good body, a body that's athletic and holds up and is strong, and number two, to hard work and expectations where you expect yourself to play well. I think that's really the secret to longevity is to be injury free but really still have the ability to be like a kid and be excited about the game and work at it and work hard and look forward to what's coming up.”
What’s coming up in short order is three more PGA TOUR Champions majors and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. Lehman’s victory moved him into 10th in the Schwab Cup standings. He last won the season-long points race in 2012.
Lehman was a record 13 under through two rounds at the rain-shortened Principal Charity Classic. He hit 33 of 36 greens, which tied for first in the field, and he was putting from the fringe on two of the three greens he missed. He made only one bogey over the 36 holes, inexplicably from 63 yards out in the fairway on his 36th hole.
“I hit the ball extremely well and kind of got back into stroking the ball [putting] without thinking about my stroke, which mentally was probably the most important part of the week. I wasn't worried about or thinking about my stroke,” Lehman said. “Typically when I am that way I putt much better.
“So hopefully what I would say is to kind of take that and move it forward. If I can keep putting like I putted the last two days, I think the second half of the year is going to be really quite good.”