Choi relishing VC role at #PresidentsCup

Tue 06 Oct 2015

Choi relishing VC role at #PresidentsCup

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Incheon, Korea, October 6: Korea’s K.J. Choi didn’t flinch when asked if he preferred to be one the 12 International Team golfers or Vice Captain to Nick Price.
“I’d prefer to play. This is very stressful,” laughed the Asian Tour honorary member, Korea’s first male golfer to make it big on the international stage.
“If you’re a player, you’re just hitting golf shots and playing whenever the captain tells you to play. But for the Captain and Vice Captain, we have to look after 12 players, check on their game styles and life styles and have to match them up well.
“There’s a lot of thinking. I can’t sleep at night.”
The 45-year-old Choi has been a terrific golf ambassador for the Asian Tour since becoming the first graduate to earn his PGA TOUR card in 1999 and subsequently winning eight times, including The Players Championship.
[pullquote align="right"]“It’s very good and very positive for Asia. It shows the improvement in Asian golf and the Asian Tour. Our players are becoming worldwide. It’s very exciting to see,” said Choi. - KJ Choi [/pullquote]With Asia hosting the Presidents Cup, which starts at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club on Thursday, for the first time, Choi was given the honour of the elevated title as Vice Captain, the first in the event’s history. Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone are the other two Captain’s assistant to Price.
Choi’s rise to success is almost like a fairy-tale.
A farmer’s son, he would leave home on Wando island to play golf on the mainland for the entire day – the most number of holes he’s played in a day is 70 –after being bitten by the bug at age 15.
He washed cars to earn extra money for his practice and later coined the phrase “To be the best, you’ve got to play with the best” which has served as an inspiration to many other Asian golfers.
Choi’s trailblazing success, which includes three appearances in the Presidents Cup, has led to an unprecedented four Asian golfers – India’s Anirban Lahiri, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Korea’s Sangmoon Bae and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama – to feature in the International Team this week. New Zealand’s Danny Lee is also Korean-born.
“It’s very good and very positive for Asia. It shows the improvement in Asian golf and the Asian Tour. Our players are becoming worldwide. It’s very exciting to see,” said Choi.
“This will be good for Korea and Asia. The main thing is that it can change golf in Asia, make it boom and make young players learn the game.”
The Korean star is making sure the International Team will enjoy a taste of the country’s famous “Kimchi” – a traditional fermented side dish – during their stay at the Presidents Cup.
“We have reserved a spot at an authentic Korean restaurant and that restaurant is famous for the number of side dishes. We are going to have over seven or eight different side dishes,” he smiled.
“So our plan is to mesmerize our players with the number of plates on their table. They will like the Korean food and they will have a good time.”
There's plenty of food for thought for the International Team as since the Presidents Cup was launched in 1994, the United States has dominated the biennial contest by winning it on eight occasions, including the last five editions.
About The Presidents Cup
The Presidents Cup, a team match play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won eight of the 10 previous Presidents Cups, and the only win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. The Presidents Cup 2003 ended in a tie. The Presidents Cup 2015 will be held Oct. 6-11 when the biennial competition makes its first trip to Asia.  Nick Price and Jay Haas will serve as captains of the International and U.S. Teams, respectively.  Korea’s K.J. Choi was named the first vice-captain in Presidents Cup history and will help Price lead the International Team in front of what is sure to be a supportive “home” crowd.
Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will be the fourth international venue to host The Presidents Cup, joining The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1998, 2011); The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa (2003); and The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2007).  The event is projected to be broadcast in 225 countries and territories, reaching more than 1 billion homes in 30 different languages around the world.
The Presidents Cup is a unique golf event in that there is no purse or prize money; instead, each player, captain and captain’s assistant allocates an equal portion of the funds generated to charities of his choice. Since the inception of The Presidents Cup in 1994, more than $32 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds, including more than $5 million from The Presidents Cup 2013. Over the past 20 years, The Presidents Cup has impacted more than 450 charities in 15 countries worldwide and 35 states in the U.S.
Citi and Rolex are the exclusive Global Partners of The Presidents Cup.
For updates on The Presidents Cup, check www.presidentscup.com, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thepresidentscup and sign up for The Presidents Cup e-newsletter.
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About Rolex
Rolex enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its OYSTER watches are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of several landmark innovations in watchmaking, including the OYSTER, the first waterproof wristwatch, and the PERPETUAL rotor self-winding mechanism. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, exploration, sports and the environment through sponsoring and philanthropic programmes. For more information, visit www.Rolex.com.
About Incheon Metropolitan City
Uniting the community Bringing Incheon to the world, Incheon is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent cities in Northeast Asia, as well as one of the best cities in which to live. Incheon has been trading with foreign countries since the Three Kingdoms Period, and was the first city in Korea to accept Western culture in 1883.
Throughout its history, Incheon has been at the center of Korea’s modernization. Today, more than 2.9 million people live in its 10 districts, called ‘gus’ and ‘guns,’ as well as on the more than 150 beautiful islands of Ganghwa-gun and Ongjin-gun. Incheon is now one of the three major cities of Korea.
About Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea
At 7,380 yards (6,748 meters) for the tournament, the par 72 Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is the first and only golf club in Korea to carry the name of the Golden Bear himself.  Its dramatic park land, links and rock formation styles are in perfect harmony with the panoramic views of Incheon Bay and the skyline of the Songdo International Business District. Crafted by the hand of master himself, the Jack Nicklaus design features unique fairway routings, a variety of tee locations, and greens protected by strategically located bunkers and hazards that provide special challenge to golfers of all levels.  In 2010 and 2011 the course hosted the PGA Champions Tour Songdo Championship event.  The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is proud to have been selected as the host venue for The Presidents Cup in 2015, the first time the event will be contested in Asia.  For more information visit: www.jacknicklausgolfclubkorea.com.