Chopra takes lead at Thailand Golf Championship
CHONBURI, Thailand (AFP) –
Sweden’s Daniel Chopra took the early clubhouse lead in the rain-hit second round of the Thailand Golf Championship on Friday, as big names including defending champion Lee Westwood stumbled.
Chopra sparkled for a second day at the Amata Spring course making six birdies in a five under 67 despite the delay caused by a downpour, giving him an impressive 10 under overall.
“I guess coming back to Asia always brings out the best in my putter,” the Swede, who has an Indian father, said admitting to “a little bit of nerves” after the rain delay.
“A lot of great players are here and a lot of recognised names. Some names are not so recognised, but it doesn’t mean they are not as good,” the 39-year-old said.
Chopra led by a shot to Japan’s Asian Tour rookie Masanori Kobayashi, who blitzed seven early birdies but then dropped shots after the turn including a bogey on the last, a hole that troubled many of the morning starters.
Overnight leader Charl Schwartzel moved to eight under after starting his round with a birdie and looked in strong form as he bids to go one better than last year’s second place.
But it was a disappointing day for star names Westwood and Hunter Mahan, who both started promisingly but fell away with late bogeys — the US PGA star triple bogeying the last in a spectacular collapse.
World number six Westwood, who set last year’s tournament alight with some of his best ever golf, finished in a three under 69, leaving him five shots off the lead after two rounds and needing a big day three to keep him in contention.
“I wasn’t making anything. I’ve made nothing the first two days and left too many out there,” Westwood said bemoaning poor putting for his failure to recreate last year’s sizzling form.
Mahan, a two-time US PGA tour winner this year, will be most disappointed after scorching seven early birdies only to collapse after the rain break, dropping three on a miserable final hole to leave him on four under overall.