Champions assemble at CJ Invitational

Wed 02 Oct 2013

Champions assemble at CJ Invitational

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Kuala Lumpur, October 2: A star-studded cast of Asian Tour champions hailing from more than 15 nations will contend at the CJ Invitational where they will bid to dethrone the tournament host K.J. Choi next week.
Korean stalwart Choi will be aiming for a historic third straight victory at the CJ Invitational but will face strong challenges from more than 30 Asian Tour winners who will make their way to the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.
Reigning Order of Merit winner Thaworn Wiratchant and current Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, a two-time Asian Tour winner and the big-hitting Scott Hend of Australia will feature at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club.
An in-form Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand, Berry Henson of the United States, Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, who ranks sixth on the Order of Merit and Angelo Que of the Philippines are also in the elite field.
The CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi will be the final event for the leading players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit to qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions in China later this month.
Australia’s Hend, ranked third on the Order of Merit, was victorious at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in March when he overcame a six-shot deficit to cap his third come-from-behind victory on the region’s premier Tour which is celebrating its 10th season in 2013.
Known for his stylish attacking style of play, Hend will be among the top favourites to contend at the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi after he finished tied fifth last season.
“My best form of defence is attack. I’m an aggressive golfer and I play better when I’m aggressive. I guess I’m just lucky that when I’m in position, I can make the birdies and give myself a chance to win,” said Hend.
The 40-year-old Australian is one of the most successful international players on the Asian Tour. He has never finished outside the top-30 on the Order of Merit since 2007 and was crowned the longest hitter on the Asian Tour in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
“The Asian Tour has been a fantastic place for me to be in. This is the Tour in the region and in my eyes it is the only Tour in the region. Everyone wants to come out and forge a good living and play in good tournaments and try to move to the next level. This is a great place to be and a place to play on,” he said.
Meanwhile, the young and talented Arnond Vongvanij hopes to better last year’s eighth place result at the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi.
The Thai will aim for a calm and collected approach after putting too much pressure on himself to win a second Asian Tour title after earning a breakthrough win at the 2012 King’s Cup on home soil.
“I’ve been trying too hard on the golf course and I get tensed up easily. It seems like I haven’t got off to a good start this year yet. If I can get off to a good start, I feel I’ll stand a good chance when the weekend comes around,” said Arnond.
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.