Kim ready to answer hero's challenge

Sat 28 Sep 2013

Kim ready to answer hero's challenge

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Kuala Lumpur, September 28: Korean rising star Kim Gi-whan is prepared to respond to the challenge set by his hero K.J. Choi and challenge for the US$750,000 CJ Invitational next month.
The 22-year-old Kim, tipped to become the next Korean star on the Asian Tour, hopes to sweeten a stellar season thus far by securing a first victory at the tournament hosted by Choi at the immaculate Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club on the outskirts of Seoul.
He will be joined by a strong line-up of Asian Tour stalwarts including 16-time Asian Tour winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, who is currently second on the Order of Merit, Rikard Karlberg of Sweden and Japan’s veteran ace Tetsuji Hiratsuka.
Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, Berry Henson of the United States, Lee Sung of Korea and big-hitting Australian Scott Hend, who finished tied fifth in last year’s CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi, will also feature in the event, which will be celebrating its third edition on the Asian Tour.
Korean superstar Choi, who is an Asian Tour honorary member and an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, has won the first two editions of his own tournament, which prompted him to throw a challenge to his young compatriots to prevent him from an unprecedented third victory.
Kim feels he is ready to step up on the plate. Currently 13th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit following four top-15s on the region’s premier Tour, the slightly built Korean wants to triumph on home soil..
After improving on his fitness during the summer break, he reckons his game is ripe to challenge for honours in the business-end of the Asian Tour season.
“I spent a lot of time working on my short game and taking about an hour and 30 minutes each day to work on my fitness. It has certainly helped because I don’t feel tired easily,” said Kim.
“It is always an honour to play in an event hosted by K.J. Choi. All the young Korean players look up to him and hope to achieve or better the success he achieved,” he added.
An in-form Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand is planning to continue his renaissance after winning his long-awaited second Asian Tour title at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia in June. The talented Thai claimed his first Asian Tour victory in 2010 but subsequently struggled to emulate his success until recently.
Pariya has benefited tremendously from a new outlook in life and in golf. “I didn’t touch my golf clubs much after I won. I practised less than an hour a day. I do a lot of indoor surfing these days and probably surf more than I golf! Once you enjoy something, I guess it carries on and has an effect on golf,” said the amiable Thai.
“Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy playing golf. When you are playing golf, you definitely enjoy playing the game. But now, when I play badly I can still find a positive outcome and I guess that has been the difference for me,” he said.
Players are vying for lucrative spots to the WGC-HSBC Champions which are up for grabs for the top players on the current Asian Tour OOM.
The CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi is title sponsored by the CJ Group, Korea’s food-to-entertainment conglomerate and is promoted by IMG.
About the K.J. Choi Foundation
K.J. Choi, one of the most successful golfers to come from Korea, did not want to stop with his own personal success, but felt a strong social responsibility to give back to society and realized he needed a reliable means of doing so. Joining together with other community leaders in Korea who share the common idea, he established the K.J. Choi Foundation in 2007 for this purpose. K.J. Choi Foundation conducts major charitable projects for those who are faced in hopeless situations in Korean domestic and International communities. The Foundation especially focuses in the support of underprivileged children by lovingly providing welfare services and professional help, thus providing young people with hopes and dreams. K.J. Choi also works closely with many community leaders to help support junior golfers in difficult financial and environmental situations fulfil their dreams through his junior golf program, K.J. Choi Dream Team. K.J. Choi Foundation’s vision is to be a community leader that provides hope and happiness for all, and its purpose is to be a Foundation for everyone.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.