JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia -- Daniel Chopra took a one-shot lead at the Iskandar Johor Open on Saturday as the second round of the weather-interrupted tournament finally finished up. The event, the season-ender on the Asian Tour, has been reduced to 54 holes and officials hope to finish up on Sunday.
Chopra carded a 6-under 66 to lead by a single shot over three-time Asian Tour winner Chapchai Nirat of Thailand, who had a 67. David Lipsky of the United States, Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines, SSP Chowrasia of India and Unho Park of Australia are tied for third.
"The multiple disruptions that were caused by the weather throughout the week made it a challenge for the tournament to be completed over 72 holes," said Tournament Director Wanchai Meechai. "As such, we have taken the decision to reduce the tournament to 54 holes."
Chopra hadn’t even begun his second round when he arrived early Saturday, and finished right before yet another delay that stopped play for much of the afternoon at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.
"I'm very lucky to be able to putt out on the last. I'll get another afternoon off and watch it rain. It was almost similar on the first day where we were the last group to finish," said Chopra, who won this event back in 1993 and is a two-time champion on the PGA Tour. "I was on the good side of the draw this time, but I've been on the bad side before. It all evens out, but it is definitely an advantage."
Sergio Garcia of Spain, at No. 20 the highest-ranked player in the field, is tied for seventh place, three shots back, after rounds of 68 and 69. Among the other players even with Garcia is three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand. Ernie Els had a 72 to fall back into a tie for 36th place.
Marcus Fraser shot a 68 to remain on course to become the first Australian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit money title. He is two shots ahead of his closest competitor, Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand.
"He has a good short game. He is putting really well. I think he has a strong chance of winning" the money title, said Wiratchant of Fraser. "I was feeling tired last night but now I'm feeling better. We have to see what happens tomorrow."