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Chopra stays in the lead

Daniel Chopra

Noida: Sweden’s Daniel Chopra continued his fine form as he maintained his two-shot lead over local favourites Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar after the second round of the Shubhkamna Champions Tournament, an event hosted by Jeev Milkha Singh, here Saturday.

Following up his eight-under 64 from the first round, Chopra added a bogey-free four-under 68 to get to 12-under 130, two clear of Kapur (66) and Bhullar (67), who are both at 10-under.

Kapur, after a string of five birdies between eighth and 13th, dropped a bogey on the very last hole while Bhullar, who had six birdies and one bogey, had a good par save on the last. Anirban Lahiri (66) was one shot behind at nine-under 135.

The rest of the field was way behind with Mukesh Kumar (71), Shamim Khan (67) and Abhijit Chadha (70) tied at fifth at five-under 139 while tournament host, Jeev (71) shared the eighth place with Arjun Atwal (70) and Anura Rohana (74) at four-under 140.

Chopra had mixed feeling about his 68 that put him two clear, but felt he could have a shot or two better.

“I didn’t make the putts that I did Friday. I played as well as Friday, but it is just that the putts didn’t fall. Still it is great to be in contention once again (after Thailand and Johor) and hopefully after finishes in sixth and fourth I can close the year with something better like a win,” said the Swede, who is hoping to celebrate his 39th birthday with his first win in 20 months.

“I had a good start again wit a birdie, but had nothing after that till the seventh. And then again there was no birdies till the seventh, where rolled in a 15-footer. I three-putted the par-5 eighth and got only a par. I was getting frustrated, but I told myself to stay patient. I finally got a 15-footer on 15th and then was two-on and two putted on (par-5) 17th for a birdie,” Chopra added.

Kapur was disappointed at the bogey finish. “It was a bad chip and then missed the par putt. Still a 66 is fine and the juices are flowing. I was seven-under after 13, and then missed a short putt. I could have been a couple of shots better,” he said.