Go to contents

Choi’s Fourth Victory a New Asian Record

Posted October. 31, 2006 03:00,   


There is a saying, “Well begun is half done,” and it was just the case for the “Tank” Choi Kyung-ju (36, Nike Golf).

Choi started the final fourth round with a one shot lead, but he took complete control when he clinched in a terrific eagle on the opening hole (par 5). He managed to get on the green with two shots using his 3-wood and from a 7m putting distance, dropped the ball into the cup for the eagle. After getting off to a good start with a three shot lead, Choi’s experience helped him to hold it, and as if to congratulate himself, he made a finale birdie at the 18th hole (par 4), finishing the round with a shout for joy and waving a clenched fist.

In the final fourth round of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour Chrysler Championship in Westin Innisbrook Golf Club (Par 71) in Tampa Bay, Florida, Choi shot a 4-under-par, 67, with one eagle, four birdies, and two bogeys, finishing the tournament with a 13-under-par, 271, for his first win this season. It was a complete victory as he left the co-runners-ups, Brett Wetterich and Paul Goydos (both of the U.S.), trailing by four shots.

Choi Kyung-ju won the final championship of the season in which all PGA members can participate, and with this, a year after his last win in October 2005 at the Chrysler Classic, he has the most victories for an Asian golfer with a total of four. He has passed Shigeki Maruyama (Japan) who was tied with him at three wins. Choi has also proven that he is able to hold his ground and prevent people from catching him as he started off with the lead for the final round in all four championships that he won in the PGA Tour.

Meanwhile the prize money of $954,000 (approximately 900 million won) that Choi received has pushed up his prize ranking from 68th place to 26th ($2,267,348) and has dramatically earned him his ticket to participate in the “Tour Championship,” which is similar to an “all-star round” in which only the top 30 players on the prize rank list can join. Also, he has been given the invitation to take part in next year’s opening championship, the Mercedes-Benz Championship, which only this year’s season champions can play in, showing once again that he has become a world-wide acknowledged golf star.

The “square driver” that will be sold beginning next year also played its part in the victory. The unique head shape and its unusual sound caused Ernie Els (South Africa) to say, “It sounds like a tuna can hung to a shaft,” but it was responsible for Choi’s shots making it onto the fairway over 70 percent of the time, which acted as a foothold for the victory.