Chopra expect tight Sunday finish

Daniel Chopra © Khalid Redza / Asian Tour

Johor Bahru: Daniel Chopra of Sweden will defend a two-shot advantage over 17 holes tomorrow after organisers reduced the Iskandar Johor Open to a 54-hole affair on Saturday.

Chopra, a two-time PGA Tour winner, was 13-under after playing the first hole before play was suspended at 3pm local time due to heavy downpour at the US$2 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Title holder Padraig Harrington of Ireland, James Morrison of England and Frenchman Gregory Bourdy are on -11 after one hole at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.

No players have finished their round, meaning a total of 72 players will return at 7.20am on Sunday to complete the third and final round.

Chopra, who won his first professional title at the 1993 Johor Bahru Open, predicts an exciting finale to the Iskandar Johor Open with a strong cast of players including three-time Major champion Harrington still in with a chance of winning.

“It will make it more exciting. It is going to be a bit more like a shootout because there are a number of people still in it with a chance to have a good round. It will be fun,” said the 36-hole leader, who grew up in India.

“Obviously, I would have loved to play. I did some work early in the morning and I felt good. I hit a couple of good shots starting of the round and then the rain came. It kills a bit of momentum but we can’t control the weather. I was mentally prepared for the weather delays,” the Swede added.

TThe European Tour’s tournament director this week, Jose-Maria Zamora said the course was deemed unplayable which led to the suspension of play.

“The course became unplayable after the heavy rainfall we received this afternoon, with standing water on a number of the fairways. With that in mind, we had no choice but to suspend play for the day and, due to the disruptions we have already suffered, we have also taken the decision to reduce the tournament to 54 holes,” he said.