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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.

GOLF

Sweden’s Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters

Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters
Swedish golfer Alex Noren holds the trophy after winning the HNA Open de France, as part of the European Tour 2018, on Sunday. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP
Fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult had entered Sunday's play with a two-shot lead but struggled through a five-over final round to end in a three-way tie for fifth.
 
World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.
 
The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.
 
The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.
 
Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.
 
That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.
 
Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under — enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Kinhult and Suri.