Honolulu:A brilliant finish with three birdies on his last four holes saw Indo-Swedish golfer Daniel Chopra start very strongly with a four-under 66 at the Sony Open in Hawaii Thursday. That placed him tied fifth but only two shots behind the leader, Korea's K.J. Choi at Waialae Country Club.
Chopra had a dream day with the irons, finding each and every green for a 100 percent performance, but his putting - he needed 33 for the round - kept him away from what could have a brilliant round.
Chopra started on the tenth tee with a string of eight pars, before finding a birdie on the 18th. On his second stretch, there were five more birdies. A birdie on the sixth put him at two-under and then he finished birdie-birdie on the last two holes for a great finish.
Korean Choi, who finished 28th out of 31 starters at Mercedes last week, was again a strong starter at Sony Open. It was his sixth successive year with a score in the 60s on opening day.
One shot behind Choi was the threesome of Jimmy Walker, Heath Slocum and Steve Marino, with 65 each.
It was a day of good scores with no wind. Over half the field, 78 of the 144 starters, were under par and a total of 101 players shot par or under.
Choi opened with a 64 last year also and wound up in a tie for fourth.
Korea's Kevin Na shot three-under 67 and was tied 14th, while China's Liang Wen-Chong, Asia No. 1 in 2007, shot an even par 70 and was tied 79th.