• K.J. CHOI

    KOR

    • Date of birth May 19, 1970
    • Turned Pro 1993
    • Residence Woodlands, Texas, Usa
    • Family Married

Biography

A rice farmer’s son. Grew up on Wando island on the coast of Korea. Didn’t pick up a golf club until he was 15. He initially trained as a powerlifter but switched his attention to golf upon the suggestion from his athletics team coach. Washed cars to earn money for his practice, was so hooked on the game that he would leave his house in the early hours of the morning to head to the mainland and play as much golf – his most number of holes played in a day is 70 – before returning home late at night. Coined the phrase “To be the best, you’ve got to play with the best.” A devoted Christian. When asked if he had a mental coach, he replied: “Yes, God.” He accepted an honorary membership of the Asian Tour in 2008.

Career Highlights

  1. Choi, an honorary member of the Asian Tour, is one of the region’s finest players with six wins on the Asian Tour and eight on the PGA Tour
  2. He worked his way into the world’s top-10 in 2007 with two stylish victories on the US PGA Tour where he won the Memorial Tournament and AT&T National, events hosted by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods respectively
  3. KJ, as he is fondly known, also enjoyed a first top-10 at the British Open in Carnoustie in 2007
  4. In 2011, he won the Players Championship in the US, regarded as the world's unofficial fifth major
  5. He also won his own event on the Asian Tour, the CJ Invitational on home soil which was his fifth in the region
  6. In 2012, he won the CJ Invitational for the second time
  7. In 2010, Choi posted six top-10s, including a second place finish at the Maybank Malaysian Open
  8. In 2009, Choi welcomed his return to Asia with a triumphant four-stroke victory at the Iskandar Johor Open
  9. His victory marked to be his Asian Tour win outside of Korea
  10. In 2008, he got off to a flying start by winning the Sony Open in Hawaii and also contended at the British Open later in the season before fading in the final round
  11. The powerful Korean came close to Major glory in 2004, finishing third in the US Masters behind Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els
  12. Played his way into the history pages twice, first shooting an outward 30 on the second day and then holing an eagle-two on the 11th hole in the final round, only the third player to do so for both feats
  13. Also finished sixth in the PGA Championship that year
  14. Won his fourth US PGA Tour title in 2006 at the Chrysler Championship
  15. Choi enjoyed a stellar season in 2003
  16. Won for the first time on the European Tour at the Linde German Masters and the SK Telecom Open on home soil, which he won again in 2005
  17. Made his maiden appearance at the US Masters and played alongside Jack Nicklaus in a dream draw for the first two rounds
  18. Finished tied 15th at Augusta National to earn a return to the 2004 Masters
  19. Finished 30th on the US PGA Tour money list with US$2 million in 2003 and was picked by Gary Player for the International team for the Presidents Cup where he secured two points, including a defeat of Justin Leonard in the singles
  20. In 2002, he won twice on the US PGA Tour, the first Korean to achieve the feat
  21. He also finished third with Hur Suk-ho in the World Cup
  22. Became the first Korean to earn his US PGA Tour card at the Qualifying School in 1999, but narrowly missed retaining his playing privileges during the ensuing season after finishing 135th on the money list
  23. However, he returned to the Qualifying School again and bravely won back his card for 2001
  24. In 1999, he won the Korean Open for the second time and triumphed twice in Japan
  25. He also made the cut at the British Open at Carnoustie
  26. He is the first homebred Asian Tour player to come good on the world stage.

Asian Tour Victories

  1. Asian Tour victories: (6)
  2. 1999 Kolon Cup Korean Open
  3. 2003 SK Telecom Open, Korea
  4. 2005 SK Telecom Open, Korea
  5. 2009 Iskandar Johor Open, Malaysia
  6. 2011 C.J. Invitational hosted by KJ Choi, Korea
  7. 2012 C.J. Invitational hosted by KJ Choi, Korea.

Other wins

  1. Other wins: 1996 Korean Open
  2. 1999 Kirin Open, Japan
  3. 1999 Ube Kosan Open, Japan
  4. 2002 Compaq Classic of New Orleans
  5. 2002 Tampa Bay Classic, US
  6. 2003 Linde German Masters
  7. 2004 SBS Championship, Korea
  8. 2005 Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, US
  9. 2006 Chrysler Championship, US
  10. 2007 Memorial Tournament, US
  11. 2007, AT&T National, US
  12. 2008 Sony Open, US
  13. 2011 Players Championship, US.
 

Tournament Results

Tournament Pos R1 R2 R3 R4 Score TO PAR Earnings
ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open T65 69 68 - - 137 -6 -

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