Chopra Sets Scoring Record in Win

By Sports NetworkMay 23, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Henrico County OpenRICHMOND, Va. -- Daniel Chopra fired his second straight round of 65 on Sunday to cruise to a record-setting victory at the Henrico County Open. Chopra finished the event at 30-under-par 258 for his second Nationwide Tour victory in as many starts this season.
Nathan Green shot a 64 to finish four shots off the pace in a tie for second with Franklin Langham at 26-under-par 262. James Driscoll and Ryuji Imada were one shot further back at 25-under-par 263.
Chopra, who has status on the PGA Tour, posted his third 65 of the tournament Sunday at The Dominion Club. He shattered the low 72-hole score on the Nationwide Tour by four strokes and his 258 total matched Chris Smith's mark set at the 1997 Omaha Classic.
'I'm very familiar with the golf course and I love it,' said Chopra. 'The kind of scores I was shooting, 65 was my worst round, it's unbelievable.'
The Swede took a two-shot lead over Langham into the final round and quickly dropped his second shot to the par-5 second inside 10 feet for an eagle. Chopra followed that up with a birdie at the par-3 third after his tee shot stopped within 12 feet of the cup.
Chopra knocked his tee ball to 6 feet for a birdie at the par-3 ninth and drained an 8-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 12th to reach 28 under.
The 30-year-old kept on rolling and hit his approach to 13 feet for a birdie at the 16th. Chopra then closed the tournament in style with a birdie at the last.
'It's been an amazing week,' said Chopra. 'This has just been huge.'
With two wins this season on the Nationwide Tour, Chopra is very close to wrapping up his playing status on the PGA Tour for next year and does have some freedom when it comes to the remainder of 2004.
'I'm just going to enjoy it for now,' said Chopra. 'I'm probably not going to play everything out here and PGA Tour at the same time, but if I feel like playing and I don't want to sit at home on the couch and just watch TV, I'll play.
'I do feel great out here. I feel like I know the golf courses, I know the players. It's like coming home.'
Green, who shot a 62 in the opening round, collected four birdies on the front side to make the turn at 22 under. The Australian added four more birdies on the inward half for his share of second.
Langham, who played alongside Chopra in the final group on Sunday, mixed two birdies and two bogeys on the front side, but ran off five birdies on the back nine for a round of 67.
Nationwide Tour money leader Jimmy Walker posted a 65 to finish alone in sixth place at 24-under-par 264. Johnson Wagner and Bryant MacKellar followed at 22- under-par 266.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Henrico County Open
  • Full Coverage - Henrico County Open
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

    Getty Images

    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

    Getty Images

    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.

    Getty Images

    Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

    There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

    Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

    In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

    “It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

    “That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”