Daniel Chopra claims maiden PGA Tour title
Chopra takes his first PGA Tour golf title with a neat little tap-in for par on the 72nd hole to claim a one-shot win over Shigeki Maruyama and Fredrik Jacobsen.other Updated: Oct 30, 2007 12:09 IST
Daniel Chopra took his first PGA Tour golf title with a neat little tap-in for par on the 72nd hole to claim a one-shot win over Shigeki Maruyama and Fredrik Jacobsen at the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro Club.
Chopra, who at one stage was four clear with nine holes to play, was tied at 18-under with Maruyama and Jacobsen when play ended prematurely with Chopra having finished 15 holes and the other two on the 16th hole.
When play resumed Monday, the former Asian Tour regular, Chopra, regained his lead with a birdie on the par-5 16th and then parred the next two to edge out Jacobsen and Maruyama by one shot for his first PGA Tour triumph.
Chopra was the 12th first-time winner on the tour this season.
The Swede of Indian origin had won two titles on the Nationwide Tour and the PGA win came in his 133rd start and with it came a cheque of $810,000. He also earns a spot in the winners' only Mercedes Tournament that tees off the 2008 season.
"I was wound up pretty tight last night," Chopra said. "I came up this morning after a good night's sleep and I mentioned to my wife, 'Wow, it's amazing how relaxed I feel today'."
Chopra, who grew up in Delhi with his grandparents, added, "It is something that I've dreamed about for a long time."
Chopra's lone win on the Asian Tour was the 2001 Taiwan Masters.
It was a roller coaster tournament for the winner, who played his first 40 holes without a bogey and then seemed to have sewn up the title with a four-shot lead at the turn on the final day.
But two bogeys from Chopra and some amazing golf from Jacobsen and Maruyama saw the trio tied at 18-under when the tournament spilled over into Monday.
It was a great tournament for Asian players, as Indo-Swede Chopra grabbed the title, Maruyama of Japan was tied second at 18-under and another former Asian Tour regular Charlie Wi of South Korea tied fifth.
Maruyama with his second place finish earned $396,000, lifting him from 137th to 103rd on the money list. With just one more event left this season, the Japanese golfer is now assured of full playing privileges next season as he will be inside top-125.
Maruyama has been in the top 80 on the money list in each of his first seven years on the PGA Tour.
Jacobsen's third place was also his best in 96 starts on Tour.
First Published: Oct 30, 2007 12:07 IST