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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Other Sport

Daniel misses Delhi feel
Robin Bose, Hindustan Times
Noida, December 22, 2012
First Published: 01:16 IST(22/12/2012)
Last Updated: 01:18 IST(22/12/2012)

With every passing moment, the departure hour draws near. Hence, the yearning to cling on to each moment and living it to the fullest is understandable.

Soon after submitting his score near the 1st tee box of the Noida Golf Course, Daniel Chopra stopped for a brief conversation with his caddie.

"Yeh (card) bag mein rakh do," he directed his man on the bag.

The clear pronunciation, albeit with a hint of accent, caught those around him by surprise. Noticing the perplexed looks, Chopra clarified, "I speak Hindi all the time."

The pangs of separation have been with him ever since he arrived on Monday evening, and the brief exchange caused the angst to spill out and perhaps even overshadow the satisfaction of ending Day I of the Shubhkamna Champions with a 64, which gave him a two-stroke lead.

"How I wish I could make it (here) a couple of times in a year," he said wistfully.

Prolonged absence
The absence from the Capital, where he picked up the rudiments at the Delhi Golf Club as a child, means he's still "adjusting to the Delhi schedule".

"It's different from what I follow (in Orlando)," he explained patiently, "and now Sunday is almost upon us," the head going down in disappointment.

Not one to plan too far ahead, Chopra has made exceptions on two fronts. He would love more "excuses (of a golf tournament) to fly down so far" and the other, the gaze turns steely as he says it, is to win again and get back on the PGA Tour.

Surrendering his playing rights still cause wrinkles on the forehead, but he prefers to address the issue differently. "No one but me is responsible for the situation I am in. It was my choice to pursue golf, which is all about momentum."

Horrible season
After the "horrible" season, securing his Asian Tour card did help recover some momentum, but it was a case of "too little, too late" as far his aspirations on the PGA Tour were concerned.

The outings in Thailand (Thailand Golf Championship) and Malaysia (Iskandar Johor Open) earlier this month have been fruitful, and Chopra feels the feel is back, the belief strengthened by his ability to sink three putts on Friday, "which one did not expect to make".

But for those missed short putts on the 11th and 18th, the score could have plunged further, but as he would remark, "That's golf."


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