Home Sports Flawless Chopra close to maiden career win on US Tour

Flawless Chopra close to maiden career win on US Tour


Port St Lucie (US) : Two bogey-free rounds and just one off the lead, Daniel Chopra thinks this could well be the week of a big breakthrough for his first career-win on the PGA Tour at the rain-soaked Ginn sur Mer Classic.

Two birdies on the first two holes set the tone for Chopra, who never let up thereafter as he carded second successive bogey-free round, this time a seven-under 67 that brought him to 13-under for the first 36 holes and just one off the lead.

Indo-Swede Chopra, who has secured his card for 2008, is within one shot of leaders Bob Estes and Tommy Armour III in the suspended second round. Estes and Armour shot 68s after identical 64s on Thursday.

Chopra who had 13 birdies and no bogeys in his first two rounds had also found 83 percent greens in the rounds. In the second round, Chopra had a birdie-birdie start and then added four more in a row from sixth to the ninth and was then six-under for the front nine. But there was just one more birdie on the back nine as he ended at 67 on the par-73 course.

“If I play the way I’m playing right now I can win this week,” Chopra said. “I have two more days to keep continuing this kind of form. But, obviously, it becomes more and more difficult to score as the week goes on.”

Chopra has every reason to feel comfortable as the tournament is being held about two hours from Chopra’s Orlando home. Chopra decided to go back home for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Chopra played his first two rounds in the company of Estes and Bob Tway. Tway started his opening round with four straight birdies. Together, the trio have 39 birdies and six bogeys in the first two rounds.

The fairways have been very muddy at the Tesoro Club this week. The course was soggy Thursday and even wetter Friday, because of intermittent rain overnight and during the morning. Players were allowed preferred lies and could lift, clean and place their balls in the fairway. They still had trouble finding dryish spots to play from.

Play was delayed an hour at the start by rain and the round was suspended following another squall. None of the afternoon starters finished leaving, 64 still to complete the second round.

Chopra said: “The ball has so much mud. Sometimes the entire ball is covered with mud, not just half of it.”

While Chopra is seeking his first win, Armour is looking for No. 3 is his 568th career start. The 48-year-old last won at the Valero Texas Open in 2003.

Chopra who has played 32 events this year has made 18 cuts and came closest with his third place finish at Texas Open three weeks ago and also finished eighth at Honda Classic in April. With winnings of USD 934,438, he is also close to touching the million-dollar mark for the season.