By Steve Elling
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Tiger Woods sauntered onto the practice green at Pebble Beach on Tuesday and spotted Daniel Chopra, holding court with a few inquisitive sorts.
"Hey, Chopra," Woods said playfully, "where's my drink?"
Make it a double.
Sure, it was only a practice round, but Chopra pulled off a statistical rarity on Monday at the Pebble Beach Golf Links when he aced two holes in the span of a couple of hours, Nos. 7 and 17, two of the most famous par-3s in existence.
Chopra once made a double-eagle in PGA Tour competition in Las Vegas, but the two aces were off the charts. After making a rather understated ace on the par-3 seventh, a 103-yard hole, he knocked in a 7-iron on the 17th from 176 yards and went positively berserk.
"When the second one went in, I was like Tiger Woods on steroids," Chopra said of his reaction. "It was probably the most excited I have ever been on the golf course in my life."
Chopra was practicing and wasn't keeping score.
"I was on those two holes," he laughed.
In both cases, his first shot went in for an ace. Chopra said he's mustered 13 aces over the years either in live tournament play, practice rounds, pro-ams or casual rounds. But this was special because of the venue.
"At Pebble, my favorite course in the whole world," he said.
Since it was Monday, there weren't many fans around, but there were a few folks following Chopra around the course. One spectator saw both aces.
Said Chopra: "One guy came up to me and said, 'I'd never in my life seen a hole in one, and today I've seen two."
Making the double whammy even better was the fact that Chopra's caddie, Philip Hodge, a professional player himself in the past, had been needling him about having recorded more aces, 15, than Chopra. The two-time PGA Tour winner fired back with, "I'm going to make them right in front of you."
And on Monday, he did. Chopra said that as the second ball was tracking toward the hole, Hodge began to realize what was happening.
"I can hear it clear as day, he starts yelling, 'Nooooooooo,' " Chopra said.