Chopra in Charge in Singapore

Fri 30 Oct 2009

Chopra in Charge in Singapore

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Sentosa, October 30: Sweden’s Daniel Chopra brilliantly charged into contention at the US$5 million Barclays Singapore Open with a sizzling second round of six-under-par 65 on Friday.
The 35-year-old produced a flawless card which included six birdies at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course to hold the clubhouse lead on seven-under-par 135.
Overnight leader Ian Poulter of England was tied with Chopra on seven-under after shooting two birdies in three holes of his second round, which will resume at 7.40am on Saturday following another two-hour weather disruption today.
Little-known Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei, who qualified for the star-studded event on Monday, maintained his fairy-tale run by also tying for the lead after negotiating seven holes in three under. Only 61 players managed to complete round two on Friday.
Chinese ace Liang Wen-chong, the Asian Tour number one in 2007, battled into contention with a 68 to lie two back with Australia’s Andrew Dodt, who also returned a 68.
Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland showed why he is one of the best players in the world by staying on course to make the halfway cut after an inward 32 salvaged a round of 69 for a total of 143, eight off the pace pace.
Australian Adam Scott, a two-time winner of the Barclays Singapore Open, was also on 143 after shooting a 71.
After securing three top-10s on the US PGA Tour this season where he is a two-time winner, Chopra is determined to end his year on a strong note by winning Asia’s richest national Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour for the first time this week.
“This year of all my years since going to America, I feel I have under-achieved the most. This is the best I have felt about my game in a long time. It is just a matter of getting a few breaks and getting some momentum going,” said Chopra.
Chopra, who is of Swedish-Indian parentage, played 27 holes today following the disruptions on the opening day and produced a wonderful ball striking display to set up his birdie chances.
“I am very happy. I started out yesterday edgy with all the delays but came out today feeling better. I am just trying to get used to the greens. I missed a few short ones. But it is getting better,” he said.
Liang was delighted to move into the title hunt as his biggest career victory came at the Singapore Masters two years ago en route to becoming China’s first Asian number one. His only blemishes where two bogeys on the par threes but he made up for it with five birdies as he outscored playing partner Harrington.
“I was happy with my round today except for a couple of par threes. My body movement caused my tee shots to go to the right and it was hard to recover from there. I am swinging well overall but I have to work on my putting,” said Liang, who played 26 holes today.
“I like playing in Singapore. The events here, the (former) Singapore Masters and the Barclays Singapore Open, are big events. These tournaments give me the opportunity to play against the best players in the world and I get inspired by that. It also gives me extra motivation.
“I believe I have the right frame of mind to cope with being one of the top Asians in the field this week.”
With his parents leading the cheering squad, Dodt, playing in his second season in Asia, rose to the occasion in style. He double bogeyed his third but came back strongly with four birdies on the bounce from the fifth hole to end the day two back.
“I wasn’t trying to look at the leaderboard too much and wanted to play it one shot at a time and I managed that pretty well. I holed a lot of putts so far. I guess you start to belong more out there and if you have a few good results, people start to take notice a bit more. I’m just here to let my clubs do the talking,” he added.
American world number two Phil Mickelson could only manage to play four holes of his second round when play was suspended at 6.37pm. He dropped one shot to fall back to one-under for the championship.
Three-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa was even par through three holes to remain on four-under.
Leading second round scores
135 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 70-65
137 - Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-68, Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 69-68
138 - Scott Hend (AUS) 72-66, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 71-67, Ross McGowan (ENG) 69-69
139 - Richard Finch (ENG) 71-68
140 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 72-68, James Kingston (RSA) 74-66, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 73-67
141 - Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 68-73, Rodney Pampling (AUS) 72-69, Richard Green (AUS) 68-73, Tony Carolan (AUS) 74-67, Daniel Vancsik (ARG) 70-71
142 - Tano Goya (ARG) 74-68, Darren Clarke (NIR) 73-69, Oskar Henningsson (SWE) 69-73, Soren Hansen (DEN) 71-71
143 - Zaw Moe (MYN) 71-72, Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 72-71, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 74-69, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71-72, Christian Cevaer (FRA) 71-72, Adam Scott (AUS) 72-71, Steve Webster (ENG) 71-72, Kenneth Ferrie (ENG) 71-72
Note: 61 players completed the second round, with 91 players to resume their rounds at 7.40am on Saturday. Round three will not start earlier than 1pm.
Ends