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K. J. Choi Determined to Defend His Championship

Posted April. 30, 2003 22:34,   


Double Winning of US PGA and LPGA.

K. J. Choi and Se Ri Pak are marching for the second title of this game and the second title two weeks in a row, respectively.

HP Classic, set to start today night (Korean time), is the one where K. J. Choi won the title for the first time as a South Korean golfer. This year, HP, not Compeq, will sponsor the championship and put up half a million dollars more for the prize money.

According to the seed selection announced yesterday, Choi will face tough opponents like Phil Mickelson and Charles Howell III in the first and second round. But, Choi feels confident in playing on the English Turn CC. Thus, a good result is expected. Last year, Choi won the title on 17-under and 271.

Choi showed his confidence and said, "I feel good about my shots this week. The course layout has not changed. So, I will use the same strategy as last year."

He also stated, "I will use the number one locker and one of the best cars given to the major players. Of course, I don`t care about the symbolic treatment. I just want to win it again, and play as a champion next year, too."

In the meanwhile, Se Ri Pak is playing in Michelob Light Open, the inaugural event of the LPGA Tour. If she wins the Open, it will be her second one in a row, and the third one this season.

Pak first will face the challenge in the first and second round from Shani Waugh and Hee-Won Han. In the final round of the 2003 Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, Pak had to take on two Australian golfers, Webb and Waugh. This time, however, it will be the other way round. On the other hand, Anikka Sorenstam has officially pronounced her participation, and is likely to render the upcoming race more heatedly competed.

K. J. Choi will strike his first tee-shot up into the air at 02:45 on May 2nd, while Pak at 22:10 today.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com