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They Were All Winners

Posted November. 15, 2004 23:55,   


They were all winners regardless of prize money.

The 2004 MBC Raon Invitational Tournament (an 18-hole skins game) was held on Sunday at Raon Golf Club, Jeju Island. Although the game was a goodwill match with all the skins money (Total prize money: $177,000) going to charity, “Emperor of Golf” Tiger Woods, Scottish veteran Colin Montgomerie, who designed the Raon GC, Choi Kyoung-ju (Superior), and Pak Se-ri (CJ) made no concessions in their shots.

The match was played in cheerful spirit, but the four champions did not miss their chances to win. Montgomerie won, taking $75,000 with nine skins, and both Woods and Choi Kyoung-ju ranked second, taking five and four skins respectively and $51,000 each. Pak Se-ri took no skin.

Montgomerie forestalled the other competitors by earning the skin at the first hole with a birdie, and he ran ahead by winning the 10th hole with five skins, worth $47,000, at stake.

The four players entered the last hole with Montgomerie taking nine skins, followed by Woods with five skins. Choi Kyoung-ju and Pak Se-ri had not yet won any skins.

At the last hole with $51,000 at stake, Montgomerie’s third shot stopped right before the hole, which led to a bunker shot near-pin contest.

With Tiger Woods recording 3.45 meters, Montgomerie 1.27 meters, and Pak Se-ri 3.00 meters, it was Choi Kyoung-ju’s turn.

The eyes of about 3,000 gallery members were centered on the bunker shot. Choi Kyoung-ju, who played good bunker shots during the game, took the skin worth $51,000. His ball escaped the bunker, rolled and stopped at 50 centimeters from the holecup. With this brilliant bunker shot, he kept his pride as the first Korean player who won on the US PGA tour.

Although Pak Se-ri failed to take any skins, she won applause from the gallery with good play. She made a birdie on the third hole, offsetting Tiger Woods’ birdie.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com