Friday, 18 November 2011
Daniel Chopra   (Getty Images)
Daniel Chopra (Getty Images)

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Sweden’s Daniel Chopra took control of the Iskandar Johor Open with a second round 65 before play was suspended in Malaysia.

The 37 year old was amongst those unable to finish their opening rounds on Thursday due to electric storms, and returned to Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club, in Johor Bahru, to birdie two of his final four holes for a round of 64.

That was one shy of Joost Luiten’s first round, but two-time US PGA Tour winner Chopra then notched seven birdies with only one bogey in his second round to race to 13 under par and establish a four shot lead.

Surprisingly Chopra, who won twice on the Challenge Tour in 1994, has yet to win a European Tour event in 15 years of trying.

"It was an early start for me this morning. I had a good feel to finish my first round with a few birdies and I made another good putt for birdie on my first hole this morning, which got my second round off to the perfect start," Chopra said.

"I didn't drive the ball as well as I did yesterday, but my putting was perfect and my wedges were great.

"My iron play needs a little bit more work on the driving range this afternoon but if I can get that sorted out and get some rhythm with that, then hopefully I should be in for a good weekend."

His compatriot Michael Jonzon and Scotland’s Jamie McLeary were Chopra’s closest challengers on nine under par – although neither had completed their second rounds.

Jonzon – 108th in The Race to Dubai, and probably in need of one more good payday to secure his card – mixed nine birdies with two bogeys in his first 17 holes, while Challenge Tour regular McLeary was four under par for his round with two holes left to play.

Luiten parred the first to remain eight under before the suspension, with Swede Christian Nilsson and Bangladesh’s Siddikur both carding second rounds of 67 to join him on that mark.

Nilsson said: "I’m really pleased with my day. I made a lot of birdies and only one or two bogeys, so I’ve got to be very happy. I’ve been driving the ball very well all week and finding a lot of fairways. And my putter has also been pretty hot, so if you put those two together, it adds up to a pretty good combination."

Defending champion and three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington played the first three holes in level par to remain on seven under.

Play resumed at 5.30pm local time after a two hour delay.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LUITEN, JoostNED18-15
2CHOPRA, DanielSWE18-14
T3DAVIES, RhysWAL18-13
6BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-12
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