Chopra to make his WGC-Bridgestone debut in Ohio

July 30th, 2008 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Akron, Ohio (U.S.), July 30 (IANS) Daniel Chopra will make his debut in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in a star-studded field which will, however, be missing Tiger Woods for the first time at the Firestone Country Club this week. The Indo-Swede Chopra, who is among the 11 European Tour members making their debut in the event, is the winner of the season-opening Mercedes Benz Championships and has been in good form.

However, Jeev Milkha Singh, who has been in great form this season with two titles, one each in Europe and Japan, will not be part of the field.

The Asian Tour challenge will be led by New Zealand’s Mark Brown and the others include Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Australian Scott Strange who will chase for a slice of the US$8 million on offer in the third and final World Golf Championships event this season.

Brown is the current leader of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and he endured a frustrating wait at Royal Birkdale as he waited in vain for a chance to compete in the British Open.

The talented Brown has enjoyed a strong 2008 season where he won back-to-back titles at the SAIL Open and Johnnie Walker Classic, both held in India, in February.

Joining Brown at Firestone will be two-time Asian Tour winner, Strange. He earned his place in the elite field following his victory in the Wales Open earlier this season.

Prayad will also be aiming for a better showing on the big stage after missing the halfway cut at the British Open by one shot when he ended his second round with a double bogey and bogey in two of his last three holes.

Open Champion Padraig Harrington leads The European Tour’s finest across the Atlantic, as the Irishman plays his first competitive event since that unforgettable victory at Royal Birkdale.

Harrington’s successful Open Championship defence saw the Dubliner power his way to Number Three on the Official World Golf Ranking, making him the highest ranked European Tour Member in the field at Ohio.

He will be joined by no less than 39 European Tour Members, among them Masters Champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa and the world’s fourth and fifth ranked players, Adam Scott and Ernie Els.

Justin Rose will be looking to better his joint second place finish — eight shots behind Tiger Woods 12 months ago. He will be trying for his World Golf Championship title.

Woods has dominated the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational since its inception and has taken the trophy home on a staggering six imes in the tournament’s nine-year history.

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