Golf: Chopra captures first US win

Sweden's Daniel Chopra collected his first USPGA Tour victory on Monday, outlasting compatriot Fredrik Jacobson and Japan's Shigeki Maruyama to win the Ginn Classic by one stroke.

Chopra, 33, completed a two-under par 71 in the delayed final round to finish with an overall score of 19-under 273 in the 4.5 million-dollar tournament, held at Port St. Lucie, Florida.

“I was wound up pretty tight last night,” Chopra said. “I came up this morning after a good night’s sleep and I mentioned to my wife, ‘Wow, it’s amazing how much more relaxed I feel today.’

“I kind of let it all kind of sink in and put it into perspective. I thought, ‘What is the absolute worst that can happen? I’ll finish third, which is one (heck) of a great tournament.’ I would have taken it in the beginning of the week.”

Chopra led by as many as four strokes on Sunday, but fell into a three-way tie with Jacobson and Maruyama before darkness halted play.

He regained at his first hole on Monday morning with a birdie at the par-five 16th.

That put him one shot up on Jacobson and Maruyama, who started the day on 17. That was enough to give Chopra his first win in 133 US starts as all three parred the last two holes.

“It’s amazing. It is something that I’ve dreamed about for a long time,” Chopra said.

“I mentioned earlier when I was playing in Europe, I would sit on the couch every evening when I was home, and I’d watch the telecast.

“I’d watch the leaderboards with the red numbers, and the players, wishing that maybe one day I’d have my name on one of those leaderboards.”

Jacobson shot a 69 for 274 and his best finish of the season, improving on a tie for fifth at the Memorial.

Maruyama also shot a 69, with his share of second on 274 giving him $396,000 and moving him to 103rd on the money list – good enough to secure his playing privileges for next year.