Colorful Chopra Breaks Through

By Brian HewittOctober 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
Almost everything about Daniel Chopra'from his two-toned hair to his rainbow sherbet golf shirts to his multi-ethnic heritage'is colorful.
His locks are tinted brown and streaked with blonde. His shirts look like something youd buy off the Good Humor Mans truck. Meanwhile, he was born in Stockholm to an Indian father and a Swedish mother.
When Im in Sweden, Im Swedish, he says. When Im in India, Im an Indian. And when Im here (in the U.S.), Im both, right down the middle.
Right down the middle, (to steal a cheap transition) was where he had been keeping his golf ball through 54 holes of the rain-plagued Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro.
His lead after the Sunday morning completion of the third round was two shots at 17 under par. He quickly expanded that to three over a charging Shigeki Maruyama with birdies on each of his first three holes.
At that point, the stage was set for his first PGA TOUR victory. Quite often, the hard part is the fact that they play 72 holes.
The record of the 33-year-old Chopra, a distant relative of author Deepak Chopra, has been the only thing dull about him. He earned his playing privileges at the 2003 Q-school. He hasnt lost his card since. But he has qualified for just four major championships during that time. And he showed up at Tesoro as another face in the money-list crowd at No. 104.
Prior to reaching golfs Big Show, much of Chopras golf apprenticeship had been spent in Asia. Along the way he met Samantha, the Australian woman who would become his wife.
It took me a while to get used to the fact that, when youre playing, each shot can be costing you $100,000 where before Id be lucky if I made $100,000 in a year, he said. It was kind of hard to get used to that aspect of it.
Being No. 104 meant was he safe to keep his ticket punched for the PGA TOUR in 2008. But it also meant, even if he won the Ginn first prize of more than $800,000, he would still be a long shot to finish in the top 30 on the final 2007 money list, which would gain him an invitation to his first Masters.
Stay in the present and live for the now, Daniel Chopra once said.
Easier said than done.
Deepak Chopra once wrote a book entitled, Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives. Daniel Samir Chopra was born on Christmas Eve eve in 1973. Until Sundays extra early start, he had been beginning each day hopping into his car into Orlando and making the two-hour-plus drive to Port St. Lucie and the Arnold Palmer design at Tesoro.
Three birdies in your first three holes when youre the 54-hole leader has to feel a little like a magical beginning. But Chopra is used to seizing the day. When he visited The Great Wall of China in 2005 he brought along a 5-iron and became the first person, in recorded history, to hit a golf ball off of it.
The harder part would be staying in the present. It didnt hurt that Chopra had hired veteran looper Mitch Knox to carry his bag at Tesoro. Knox was David Duvals bagman in Duvals salad days.
But when Chopra bogeyed the fifth hole of his final round, his lead shrunk to two. Then he wedged it to 18 inches on nine and suddenly his lead was up to four.
Then be bogeyed 10 and 13. Maruyama, No. 137 on the money list birdied 15 and eagled 16 after also birdieing the first three holes. Fredrik Jacobson birdied 9, 11, 13 and 15.
And when play was stopped late Sunday there was a three-way tied for first at 18 under. Play resumed Monday morning at 8 a.m.
Maruyama and Jacobson, playing together in a group ahead of Chopra, both parred in to finish at 18 under.
Chopra birdied the par-5 16th with a 7-foot putt. He parred the difficult par-3 17th. But he drove it into the bunker on 18. From there, he knocked it on and two-putted for par and the victory.

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    Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

    Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

    “I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

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    Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

    To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

    “More punishment,” he said.

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    DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

    Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

    Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

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    Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

    It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

    With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

    Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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    TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

    • Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

    • This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

    • Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


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    • In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

    • At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

    • Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

    • My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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    Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

    His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

    “I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

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    “I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

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    It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.