Chopra hangs on to win delayed Ginn sur Mer Classic

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Chopra tapped in for par, then pumped his right fist into the air.

Finally, victory was his.

Chopra re-claimed the outright lead with a birdie at the par-5 16th hole Monday morning and held on to win the oft-delayed Ginn sur Mer Classic, edging Fredrik Jacobsen and Shigeki Mauryama by one shot for his first PGA Tour triumph.

"It's amazing," Chopra said. "It's something that I've dreamed about for a long time."

Chopra finished at 19 under, becoming the 12th first-time winner on tour this season.

The win came in Chopra's 133rd career start, and the $810,000 winner's check pushed his career earnings to just shy of $5 million. He saw a four-shot lead over his nearest pursuers evaporate as darkness fell on Tesoro Club Sunday night, then returned in the morning and coolly finished off the long-awaited win.

"Coming from India, growing up there, having to fly overseas just to buy golf balls because you couldn't buy them in India at the time, to think I could come from there to being a winner on the PGA Tour, it's pretty special," said the Swedish-born Chopra, who moved to India when he was 7 and raised by his grandparents.

Maruyama left with one pretty good consolation prize - a card for next season.

His tie for second earned him $396,000, vaulting him from 137th to 103rd on the money list with just one tournament remaining, meaning he's a cinch to finish among the top 125 and have full playing privileges next season. Not bad, considering he was at No. 208 on the list earlier this year.

"This year was really hard, the most difficult year in eight years for myself," said Maruyama, who had been in the top 80 on the money list in each of his first seven years on tour. "I'm really happy."

He won't have to worry about playing next week's Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Disney courses near Orlando, either.

"Bye, bye, Disney," Maruyama said in perfect English.

Jacobsen's finish was his best in 96 starts on tour.

Dicky Pride (64) was alone in fourth at 16 under, earning $216,000 - the second-biggest check of his career, $9,000 shy of what he earned for winning the 1994 St. Jude Classic.

He was at the course Monday morning, just in case there was a playoff.

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