Fog Lifts to Chopra Being Declared Winner

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The Fresh Express Classic on Sunday was shortened on account of fog, and when it lifted, Daniel Chopra was announced the winner.

The last tee-off at TPC Stonebrae in the Hayward Hills happened at 3:09 p.m. local time, with the initial times pushed back a couple of hours by the fog.

At 5:23 p.m., the horn sounded, and the Swedish veteran Chopra shared the lead with 25-year-old Russell Knox. The officials announced that there was not enough time to complete the round, and it was not possible to hold a Monday play. Another fog forced officials to check back on Saturday’s third-round scores, with Chopra at the helm with 12-under 198.

This was one shot over both Luke List and Knox.

This was Chopra’s third win on the Nationwide Tour, the first after the 2004 Henrico County Open victory, and his first win anywhere after the 2008 PGA Tour victory at the Mercedez Benz Championship.

Although nobody managed to complete their round on Sunday, 27-year-old Chopra said that “a win is a win” and he still felt happy, albeit admitting that it was kind of a shock.

“All of a sudden the buzzer sounds,” he describes, “and I have this trophy.”

Chopra reportedly had the best round of his entire career on Saturday, at nine-under 61, which was enough to give him a one-shot win over Russell Knox and Luke List.

Fourth place was shared by Matthew Goggin, Marco Dawson, Doug LaBelle II, and Erik Compton, with eight-under 202.

Before the play was ended, there appeared to be an exciting finish coming up, with Knox and Chopra on the eighth green contemplating their short putts on the par-4 hole.

The fourth round on Sunday started four hours late on account of the fog, with Chopra, List, and Knox’s group starting only at around 1:30p.m.

By the time the second round of fog came, Chopra was going past the par 4 eighth hole. He missed an 8-iron hit left of the green, with the ball landing on a hillside gopher hole. After the drop, one shot was chopped into the bunker, with the ball plugging near the lip. Following that shot, he got to chip the ball out to about 2 feet from the cup, but he never got around to trying the putt.

Still, he didn’t think it was a random win.

“I played well,” he said confidently, explaining that he would not be feeling “any less satisfied” at the victory.

Orlando Pope, tour tournament director, admits being disappointed for not having the chance to “complete things.”

“It was shaping up to be quite a finish,” he said.

Still, Chopra’s win was uncontestable, as nobody played better than 64 over the first three rounds, and Chopra’s round of 61 was a course record.

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