April 19, 2011 > Chopra wins fog-disrupted Nationwide Tour event
Chopra wins fog-disrupted Nationwide Tour event
By Kevin Yin
Daniel Chopra was declared the winner of the Fresh Express Classic at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward on Sunday, April 17, after a pervasive shroud of fog prompted tournament officials to cancel the event's fourth and final round which was scheduled to end that evening.
Chopra had entered Sunday's final round as the tournament leader thanks largely to a spectacular performance in the competition's third round on Saturday. Chopra shot a 9-under par 61-a new course record at TPC Stonebrae-on Saturday to vault from the middle of the field all the way into first place with a total score of 198, one stroke ahead of Russell Knox and Luke List who were tied for second at 199.
Play was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, but the start was delayed by over four hours by fog. When the fog suddenly cleared in the early afternoon, the go-ahead was given to proceed with the final round. However, when the fog returned with a vengeance at 5:30 p.m., officials finally called the tournament.
Because Sunday's round was cancelled before it could be completed, by Nationwide Tour rules, the total scores after the end of play Saturday were used to determine the champion. That meant Chopra would be the winner, thanks to his one stroke lead going into Sunday.
"I was just getting into my rhythm again and starting to play well in the round and get myself back tied for the lead and then the buzzer sounds and I have this (trophy)," Chopra said.
The inclement weather denied spectators an opportunity to see what was shaping up to be a dramatic finish. Through seven holes on Sunday, Knox had pulled even with Chopra in first place, with both 12-under par. Instead of an opportunity for the win, however, he must be contented to share second place with List.
"[I'm] a little disappointed. I was tied for the lead with Daniel," Knox said. "I'm not really sure how things would have turned out in the end, but I would have had a decent fighting chance and I would have loved to have played, obviously."
It was Chopra's third win in his career on the Nationwide Tour; the 37-year-old also has two wins on the PGA Tour. He collected $108,000 for the top prize. Knox took home $52,800 for his share of second place, which was the largest prize of the 25-year-old's career.