Chopra hopes to make it a happy homecoming at Indian Open golf

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010, 17:41 PM IST

New Delhi: Indo-Swede golfer Daniel Chopra, who grew up playing the game at the Delhi Golf club, said he wants to make it a happy homecoming when he tees up at the Hero Honda Indian Open next week.

“I am always excited to come back to India and to Delhi Golf Club where I grew up playing golf,” said Chopra, who turns 37 in December.

“I look forward to seeing all my old friends in Delhi and my mates on Tour,” he said.

“It has been a real year of highs and lows, with the high definitely being the birth of my twins Casper and Coco,” said Chopra, who was born in Stockholm but at age seven he moved to India where he was raised by his grandparents.

His mother is Swedish and father Indian, and Chopra took a Swedish passport.

The 47th edition of the Hero Honda Indian Open carries a purse of USD 1.25 million and will have India’s leading golfers including Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa tee up on December 2.

Ryder Cup star Paul McGinley will also compete in the strong field, which will have India’s Chinnaswamy Muniyappa defending his title.

Chopra has two wins on the PGA Tour besides two more on Nationwide and one on Asian Tour. He has time and again played in India, though his last win came in 1994 at the Indian PGA Championships.

“I have no real expectations for the event and I am just going to go out and play as hard as I can and hopefully end the year in style,” he said.

“I have struggled with my game with too many swing changes and technical aspects and forgetting about just going out and playing and enjoying the game. In the last few weeks I’ve been working with a new coach and really simplifying things and am starting to feel good about my game again,” he added.

On his fitness, Chopra said, “Thankfully I seem to have finally recovered from the nagging elbow injury that has also hampered my ability to practice and play at my best for almost half the year.”

“After a really disappointing year, for me it is a great way to end the year by coming back to India and playing at one of my favorite courses in such a prestigious and revered event like the Hero Honda Indian Open.”

An all Indian junior champion at 14, Chopra turned professional in 1992 and for the next six year he played on the European Tour.

In 2004, he made it to the PGA Tour in the US. He won his first PGA Tour title in 2007 at the Ginn Sur Mer Classic and the following year he won the season?opener Mercedes Benz Championship.

PTI