Lucky Jim reels in another major tilt

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Jim Lapsley will hook up again with two-time golf major winner Dave Stock­­­ton at the 70th US Senior PGA Champion­­ship after landing a sought-after sponsors’ invite to next Thursday’s prestigious event.

Lapsley first met Stock­­­­ton when working as a fishing guide on Lake Wakatipu.

The Queenstowner ran into Stockton again as a reinvented golf pro at the British Senior Open in Scotland two years ago.

“Stockton said to me, ‘I thought you were a fishing guide’,” Lapsley says.

They met again at last year’s British Senior Open, again in Scotland.

He expects a few more wisecracks from Stockton next week after the invite, which flabbergasted Lapsley.

“It’s incredible,” says Lapsley, 55, who flew out today with wife/caddie Noeleen.

Lapsley applied after winning the New Zealand PGA Seniors Champion­­ship at Wairakei, Taupo, two months ago – his first win as a professional – but his name was missing from the initial field of 139 players for Cleveland.

The full field of 156 has 25 major champions, 10 of them in the World Golf Hall of Fame including Greg Norman, NZ legend Sir Bob Charles, Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson.

After Ohio, Lapsley will head off for his third European Seniors Tour, having qualified for a partial card for the second year running.

He expects to make at least five or six tournaments – his European 2009 season started with a 43rd placing at the inaugural Brunei Senior Masters in February.