Chopra's lead reduced in Johor; tourney shortened
Johor, Malaysia – Daniel Chopra got to play only one hole on Saturday, but his lead was cut in half at the suspended Johor Open.
Heavy rains and standing water on many of the fairways forced tournament director Jose-Maria Zamora to shorten the event to 54 holes, with the final round resuming on 6:20 p.m. (et) Saturday night -- 7:20 a.m. local time Sunday.
Chopra held a four-shot lead when play was suspended for darkness on Friday, but saw the advantage reduced to two when the cut was made Saturday. He has finished 37 holes at 13-under-par and will have 17 holes to try to finish out his first European Tour win on Sunday.
Gregory Bourdy, James Morrison and defending champion Padraig Harrington are all two shots back at 11-under with 17 holes remaining as well.
Weather has been a problem from the start, pushing the first round into Friday. The second round was also completed that day, but the rains became too much on Saturday to do much.
"We are confident the course will be ready for the resumption of the third and final round," Zamora said.
Chopra was a bit frustrated as he tries for his seventh professional win.
"I would have loved to play," he said. "I did some work early in the morning and I felt good. I hit a couple of good shots starting off the round, and then the rain came. It kills a bit of momentum."
Nobody is more than eight holes through the third round. Brett Rumford, Darren Beck, Soren Hansen, Jose Manuel Lara and Joost Luiten are all in fifth at minus-nine, with none of the five getting past the fourth hole. Six more share 10th at eight-under.
NOTES: Chopra has two PGA Tour wins and three Nationwide Tour wins, with one of those coming in 2011. He also has one international win in 2002...Harrington is chasing his 15th European Tour win and first since winning the 2008 British Open and PGA Championship.