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Choi, Kyong-Ju Over 2 Million Dollars in Prize Money

Posted October. 21, 2002 23:10,   


The `Tank` Choi, Kyong-Ju (32. Superior, Talyormade) wakes up early in the morning even the days without games.

It is not only because he is a serious `practice worm` but also because neighbors are honking whenever they pass his house.

The place where Choi, Kyong-Ju has nested is the Wood Lands in Texas. The neighbors, who think honorable to live with a US PGA Tour winner in same community, do the cute `knock` wanting to see `the face of K.J. CHOI.` It is the evidence how much the sports stars are honored in America regardless of their skin colors.

“I try to go out and greet them when they honk. Maybe for that reason, my son (Ho-Jun, 6) gets along with American kids at the playground.”

Choi, Kyong-Ju tied at the 6th place (21 under-par, 267 shots) at the 2002 US PGA Tour Disney Classic (3.7 million dollars in total prize money), which he entered in 4 weeks after the appendicitis operation, recording consecutive scores in the 60`s (66-68-69-64) for 4 rounds. It is the record that is 4 shots shy of the winner Bob Burns (25 under-pars, 263 shots) and only 2 shots shy of the third place, Tiger Woods (23 under-pars, 265 shots).

It was the final fourth round at the Magnolia Course (Par 72) of the Disney Golf Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. He warmed up his muscled that had been lumped for two weeks after the operation by hitting driver shots averaging 299 yards.

The secret for making 9 birdies out of 18 holes was his unbelievable putting (25 total puttings). It means that he, who passed the `harder than the camels to go through the needle eye` the US PGA Tour Qualifying School for consecutive years in 1999 and 2000, is completely adapted to the American greens.

It makes us feel good that he added 119,787 dollars and is over 2 million dollars for prize money, which is the standard for top class golfers, this season. His prize money total so far is 2,058,907 dollars.

The biggest fruit that he got out of this match was that he secure his position at the Masters, which called the `Dream Game.` It is because he fixed his place in the top 40 in prize money ranking, which is one of the qualifications for the event.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com