Chopra moves into tied second place at Buick Open

June 28th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Grand Blanc (Michigan), June 28 (IANS) Daniel Chopra moved into contention in tied second, just two shots behind the unheralded Bo Van Pelt at the midway stage of the Buick Open on the US PGA Tour. Chopra, who began the season with a whirlwind win at the Mercedes Benz Championship, has not finished in top-30 since then.

Chopra, one shot off the lead after the first round, added a five-under 67 Friday to his first 66 and is now 12-under 132 and two behind Van Pelt (66), who is at a career-best 14-under 130 through 36 holes.

Chopra shares second spot with Dudley Hart (68). Woody Austin (67) was another stroke back along with Matt Jones (63).

There are only three top-30 players — Jim Furyk (No. 12), Justin Leonard (No. 23) and Kenny Perry (No. 27) — in the field, and only nine from the top-50 which gives a good chance for others to capitalise on.

Chopra, who ended the first round only a stroke behind the leaders, stayed in contention with another strong round thanks to a ingenuous shot at the par-3 eighth. With his ball on the lip of a greenside bunker, Chopra hit his second shot from both knees outside the sand to set up a gimme for par.

Chopra called the dramatic shot “as one of the memorable shots I hit this year. I rolled right up against the back face of the bunker. It was a downhill left-to-right bunker shot and just couldn’t get my feet in the bunker. I figured if I get on both knees, I can get at it. It’s a shot I used to play and practice as a kid.”

A morning tee time helped Chopra because it gave him an opportunity to drive about an hour away to check out the TPC Michigan, where he hopes to qualify for the British Open Monday.

“The game plan was to get off to a good start this morning and take advantage of the calm conditions. I nearly holed my second shot on the 10th, my first hole of the day.”

Chopra then 2-putted on 12 for birdie, and then nearly chipped in on 13 for another birdie. He again 2-putted on 16 for another birdie and birdied No. 6, and nearly holed another wedge.

“I did not even have to mark them, and just tapped them in and made a 7-footer or something like that on No. 7, and that was my last birdie. It was one of those rounds of golf where all of my birdies were tap-ins.”

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