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K.J. Choi`s Happy Complaints

Posted March. 07, 2008 03:08,   


‘Tank’ Choi Kyung-ju (38•Nike Golf•photo) wishes he has nine more bodies whenever he comes to Korea.

It is because a wave of golf events wants to invite him when he comes back to Korea after doing great in PGA of the U.S.

On March 7, Choi comes to Korea to participate in the EPGA Ballantine’s Championship that will be held in Jeju’s Pinks Golf Course. After arriving at Incheon International Airport at 6 a.m., he will go to the Sky72 Golf Course at Incheon for a golf event held by Nike Golf and the next day he will attend a gathering for SC First Bank’s best clients in Gangnam, Seoul. On March 9, he will become an ordained deacon at Onnuri Community Church. The next day he will go to Jeju for practice rounds and correction sessions and the Pro-Am tournament. Such a schedule continues until March 17 when he leaves Korea.

He rather seems to love his hectic schedule. He said, “I have to be busy to return the favor to my fans and only that way, I can do more meaningful works.”

More money is paid to invite him every year. According to Golf Digest and Forbes, Choi earned $5.83 million in awards and $3.7 million in non-awards (sponsorship and invitation) totaling $9.53 million last year.

This year, he is expected to make more than $5 million in non-awards. SK Telecom moved forward a domestic golf tournament it always held in May to March 17 in order to invite him to play. The mobile company reportedly paid him about $700,000.

With his skyrocketing popularity, Choi is donating more money for charity. He gave 300 million won in January for the victims of the cold storage facility fire in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. This time, even before coming to Korea, he donated 57 million won to Corporation Leftovers Love Sharing Community for underprivileged neighbors.

In December last year, the Korean golfer founded the Choi Kyung-ju Foundation. He decided to give 40 million won through the foundation and join a tree planting drive in North Korea with Onnuri Community Church.