Patience pays for Choi at World Cup

Thu 21 Nov 2013

Patience pays for Choi at World Cup

  • SHARE
Melbourne, VIC, November 21: Korean star K.J. Choi was rewarded for his patience as an opening four-under-par 67 put him one shot behind co-leaders Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and American Kevin Streelman at the US$8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf on Thursday.
The 43-year-old , who is an Asian Tour honorary member and eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, missed a short par putt on the 18th green at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club to settle for a share of third place in the individual category which is offering US$7 million in prize money.
With countryman Bae Sang-moon struggling with a homeward 40 and a 74, Korea was placed tied fourth in the team category with a combined first round 141, four shots behind American duo Streelman and Matt Kuchar.
Choi’s best finish at the World Cup was a tied third outing with Hur Suk-ho back in 2002 and the Korean, who is one of Asia’s most successful golfers, is aiming to lift the individual and team titles at the World Cup whose past winners include many of the game’s great names.
Six birdies and two bogeys gave him the perfect start at the magnificent Royal Melbourne which yielded only 13 under-par rounds.
“My goal today was a couple under par which would have been very good but four under par, I’m so very impressed,” said Choi, who needed 28 putts throughout his round.
“Today, I was more patient on the greens and aimed for two putts but the last hole bogey is very unusual, just (missed by) one inch. I’m happy.”
Likening the slick greens here to the putting surfaces at Augusta National Golf Club, which hosts the Masters Tournament, Choi said he felt right at home at Royal Melbourne, which is one of Australia’s most famous sandbelt golf courses.
“It’s similar compared to Augusta. The side putts is pretty difficult too and its contour is pretty difficult but I like fast green,” said Choi.
Bae turned in 34 with an eagle on his second hole but stumbled home with four bogeys. Choi said he was more determined to guide Korea to the team title at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf instead of chasing individual glory.
“As I’m representing Korea, it is more important for me that team Korea wins.  But you never know,” he said.
About ISPS
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo.  ISPS was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world.  ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf.  ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s interest and philanthropic contribution in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. Visit www.ispsgolf.com
About Melbourne
Known as one of the world’s most liveable cities, it is Melbourne’s sophisticated, yet edgy style combined with super-friendly people that gives the city its personality. With an impressive calendar of high profile international events, including The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and The Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne is a leader in staging major events and providing a world-class welcome to international visitors.
With inner-city precincts ranging from the infamous city centre laneways to the beachy, bayside chic of the south and eclectic northside cool – Melbourne is a city of constant discovery where fashion, food, sport and entertainment, shopping, heritage, the arts and good living all come together to creative a lifestyle envied by many around the world. Food and wine lovers in particular will be in food heaven in gourmet Melbourne. Eating experiences range from award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to farmers markets selling locally sourced wines and fresh produce.
As one of the most compact regions in Australia, Victoria offers a huge variety of landscapes and experiences within a few hours of Melbourne. Whether its deserts, alpine ski resorts, mighty rivers, great lakes, wildlife, or the unparalleled spectacle and beauty of the world renowned Great Ocean Road, Victoria is all about quality experiences.
Many of the state’s regional attractions, including valleys of vineyards and international surf beaches, are less than a two-hour drive from Melbourne. But with more time to spare, the entire state offers a variety of scenic routes ideal for self-drive and personalised tours.
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956.  IGA is governed by its seven-member Board of Directors.  Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman.  Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2013 return of the World Cup to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest golf venues.
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,500 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com  Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ IMG_Worldwide and Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/IMG-Worldwide/
On-site media contacts:
Georgie Cox, World Cup, PR Manager, 0419334492, georgie@coxmarketing.com.au
Nicole O’Farrell, PGA of Australia, 0439 933490, nofarrell@pga.org.au
Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR, 0432 801 047, chrisreimer@pgatourhq.com
Paul Symes, European Tour, 0466 220 285, psymes@europeantour.com
Chuah Choo Chiang, Director, Communications, Asian Tour, +6012 217 2123, chuah@asiantour.com