Chopra blows up in final round, ends 17th

June 30th, 2008 - 2:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Grand Blanc (US), June 30 (IANS) Daniel Chopra blew away his chances on the front nine itself with four bogeys in first seven holes and never recovered from there as his title-aspirations faded into a disappointing tied 17th place at the Buick Open on Sunday. The 48-year-old Kenny Perry came from three strokes off the pace to win for the eighth time since turning 40. He shot 66 and won the title at 19-under with the turning point coming when he holed a bunker shot for an eagle at the par-4 14th hole.

The Indian-born Swede, Chopra, who started at 16-under and led by two after three rounds, had just three bogeys in his first three rounds - one in each - but with four in seven holes spelt disaster. He got back two birdies on 13th and 14th, but by then he was out of contention. He finished with another bogey on 18th for a 75 that saw him finish the tournament in 13-under.

All parts of his game deserted him as he managed only 56 percent greens in regulation as compared to close to 70 percent and over on first three. Then he needed 30 putts as against 22, 28 and 27 on first three days.

Veteran Kenny Perry having a great run captured his second title in six weeks as he shot a six-under 66 and went to 19-under, where he waited for the rest to come in. He went to the driving range to practice as he anticipated a play-off.

But Woody Austin and Bubba Watson were let down by their putters at the end. Austin three-putted for bogey and Watson couldn’t birdie the 72nd hole to tie leaving Perry the winner.

The victory was the 11th of 48-year-old Perry’s career and it was his second Buick Open. It also fetched him $900,000 and moved into fourth place in Ryder Cup points list for US team.

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