Major champion Toms ready to make amends

Tue 08 Oct 2013

Major champion Toms ready to make amends

  • SHARE
Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, October 8: Major champion David Toms of the United States will have a friendly score to settle with CJ Invitational host, K.J. Choi when the US$750,000 event tees off on Thursday.
Toms, who was defeated by Choi in a playoff at the 2011 The Players Championship which is regarded as the world’s unofficial fifth Major, hopes to even the score by denying Choi a third straight win at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club.
No player in Asian Tour history has won the same tournament in three successive years.
“He played great the whole day and he won,” said Toms when he was asked to reflect on the 2011 The Players Championship. “No hard feelings at all but hopefully I’ll have a chance at winning this week without trying to beat KJ in a playoff!”
“To be honest with you, I think KJ’s win at The Players Championship did a whole lot more for golf in Korea and Asia. I certainly wanted to win it because it is a great event but his win certainly did more good than if I had won,” said Toms.
Toms, winner of the 2001 US PGA Championship, make-up a star-studded cast at the Asian Tour event which includes current Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, multiple Asian Tour winner Scott Hend of Australia and India’s rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar.
The 46-year-old Toms, ranked 91st on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) will make a welcome return to the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ since his last visit in 1991.
“I played in Korea just before I got my US PGA Tour card so you can say that part of my experience in Asia kind of propelled me to go to bigger things.
“I’ve watched young Korean players over the last 10 years or so. They are making a name for themselves on the PGA Tour and on the worldwide stage. I know that KJ set the stage for that and it has been fun getting to know him,” said the American.
The talented Kim Si-woo, who made it through all four US PGA Tour qualifying school stages in 2012 but was not eligible to become a member at the age of 17, will also be in the elite field this week.
“Obviously, I’m looking forward to play in this tournament against my hero KJ and with David Toms. It was disappointing that I didn’t get to play the full schedule on the PGA Tour but I’ve learnt from the experience and I just want to concentrate on my career and play good golf,” said Kim.
Lee Dong-hwan was one-shot off the lead heading into the last day at the 2012 CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi but slipped back to tied 11th after a final round 75. He said he has learnt from the experience and is prepared to launch another title assault.
“I’m well prepared and I’m going to aim and win the trophy. My career has really been influenced by KJ. He is my role model and I want to become like the second KJ Choi. After a few years of success then maybe another youngster would like to become the second Lee Dong-hwan!” he smiled.
The CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi will also be the final event counting towards the qualification of the WGC-HSBC Champions later this month. The top players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit such as Bhullar, Hend, Baek Seuk-hyun, Wade Ormsby, Anirban Lahiri and Prayad Marksaeng will be aiming to qualify for the prestigious event.
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), 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.