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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Sport

Chopra’s gameplan: Patience
Robin Bose, Hindustan Times
Noida, December 21, 2012
First Published: 00:33 IST(21/12/2012)
Last Updated: 02:49 IST(21/12/2012)

Attired in a smart suit, the grey going well with the advancing years, the elderly gentleman sat following the proceedings from the far end of the room.

It's been a while since Daniel Chopra played on Indian soil, and the eyes wandered around the hall as the 38-year-old tried to recollect his last appearance.

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"The 2010 Indian Open," rang out a voice from the audience. Directing his gaze on the source, Chopra shrugged.

"He's getting old," laughed Jeev Milkha Singh, the host for this week's Shubhkamna Champions. The gentleman joined in. "What are your memories of the Noida Golf Course," he asked. "Had to access Google Earth to get my bearings right," came the reply.

The man fell silent as suddenly as he had spoken up.

In the childhood years spent in the Capital, he had "never crossed the river (Yamuna)", and in his reply Chopra meant no disrespect.

That's how he is, blunt to the extent of being called brutal. There was no veering off when it came to his loss of card on the PGA Tour. "There have been injuries, but they cannot be used as an excuse.

The body is mine and it's my responsibility to keep it free of pain," he said looking into the eye.

Drawing parallels
The analysis drew parallels with cricket, a sport he still follows keenly from distant Orlando.

"The game might seem to be good but the results elude you. It's like a batsman who thinks he is in good touch but the nick finds the slips or the full-blooded drive goes down the fielder's throat. In such a situation, the harder you try, the more difficult it gets."

Losing money hurts as he "feels more responsible" towards his wife and two children. So, patience is the only way out.

"Keep telling yourself that things will go your way. When that happens, as in cricket, the nick will go between the slips and the drive will bisect the field."

His status as a previous winner on the PGA Tour will get him limited starts in the new season, but Chopra is already looking at the opportunity being closer to "home".

He’s getting there
Securing his Asian Tour card by virtue of strong finishes towards the end, the signs are already there.

If the turnaround comes about on Sunday, it will be a birthday well spent with spoonfuls of chocolate cake making the triumph a happy family occasion for the Swede.


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