Strong start for Choi at Masters

Fri 11 Apr 2014

Strong start for Choi at Masters

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April 11: K.J. Choi’s quest for an elusive Green Jacket got off to a strong start at the Masters Tournament on Thursday when he fired a two-under-par 70 for tied fifth place at Augusta National Golf Club.
The Korean star, who has two top-five finishes at the Masters, shot three birdies against a lone bogey in the year’s opening Major to lie two strokes back of first round leader Bill Haas of the United States.
The Asian Tour honorary member birdied three of the four par fives at the fabled venue with his dropped shot being at the seventh hole. Choi needed only 27 putts to haul himself into contention.
Choi has enjoyed eight victories on the PGA Tour, with his triumph at the Players Championship being his biggest of his career to date. His exemption into the Masters from his Players victory ends this year.
Title holder Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, who will headline in the Maybank Malaysian Open next week, and former winner Bubba Watson all opened with a 69 to lead the chasing pack.
Choi’s first birdie of the day came at the second when he blasted exquisitely out of a greenside bunker to about six feet before rolling in the birdie putt. His birdie on 13 was from three feet after a superb wedge into the green.
The Korean has always harboured hopes of winning the Masters and was also tied eighth in the 2011 edition.
Countryman Bae Sang-moon, a multiple winner on the Asian Tour, opened with a 72 for tied 20th place while Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, who was the captain of Team Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM two weeks ago, shot a 73 for tied 28th position to give himself a shot of making his first cut at the Masters in his third appearance.
Vijay Singh and Ernie Els, both Asian Tour honorary members, shot 75s while Y.E. Yang of Korea, Asia’s first male Major champion, shot a 77.