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Fine show by Indians

NEW DELHI, MAY 25 Jeev Milkha Singh and Daniel Chopra produced outstanding results in the Japanese PGA Tour and the nationwide Tour of the USPGA respectively to continue with the spate of hot performances by Indian professional golfers abroad.

At the 100-million-yen Munsingwear Open KSB Cup, the seventh event on the Japanese Tour, Chandigarh based Jeev shot rounds of 69, 65, 70 and 68 to aggregate 16-under 272 for the tournament. That helped him finish tied for the second place, two shots behind winner Tatsuya Mitsuhashi of Japan. This matched Jeev's best show on the Japanese Tour, where he finished runner-up earlier in 1999 Kirin Open and 2001 JGTO Championship.

At the $ 450,000 Henrico County Open, an event on the second rung tour of the USPGA, Daniel Chopra, who considers himself more Indian than what his Swedish passport suggests having honed his skills at the Delhi Golf Club, was in record-breaking form as he captured his second title in as many starts. Chopra, winner of the First Tee Arkansas Classic last month, shot rounds of 65, 63, 65 and 65 to aggregate an amazing 30-under 258 for the tournament.

The finish helped Jeev climb up to 19th on the Money List at 9.17 million yen, and another five million yen would ensure that he keeps his card for the coming season on the Japanese Tour.

Chopra, who has a PGA Tour card, was playing the Henrico County Open after he failed to get a spot into the Bank of America Colonial on the PGA Tour. He made the most of it and is now almost certain of keeping his PGA Tour card for 2005. An estimated $ 195,000 would ensure a top-20 finish on the Nationwide Tour, thus earning a PGA Tour exemption. Chopra is currently third on the money list at US 181,000.

Chopra was outstanding from tee to green and ranked first in driving accuracy, second in greens in regulation, ninth in driving distance and tenth in putting during the tournament.

Indian golfers were also present at the US 400,000 SK Telecom Open, an Asian Tour event in Korea, but did not have the best of finish. Harmeet Kahlon was tied 26th at four-over 292, Arjun Singh was tied 38 at +7, while Amandeep Johl was tied 55th at +12. The tournament was won by the Thai-based Scotsman Simon Yates at nine-under 279.— PTI

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