Oldest Winner KJ Choi Sets South Korean Record with ‘Island Shot’ on 54th Birthday

Oldest Winner KJ Choi Sets South Korean Record with 'Island Shot' on 54th Birthday

‘Island shot’ helps KJ Choi set South Korean record on 54th birthday

Korean golfer Choi Kyoung-ju, who turned 54 on Sunday, made history by becoming the oldest winner on the domestic men’s tour. Choi defeated Park Sang-hyun on the second playoff hole to capture the SK Telecom Open title on the KPGA Tour at Pinx Golf Club in Seogwipo on the southern island of Jeju.

Precision under pressure

Choi, who started the final round with a five-stroke lead, had two bogeys over his first seven holes, opening the door for Park to catch up. However, Choi regained a four-stroke lead with birdies at the ninth and the 11th. Despite consecutive bogeys at the 12th and 13th, Choi remained composed and saved par at the 17th after putting his tee shot in a greenside bunker.

Fortuitous bounce

On the 18th hole, Choi’s second shot landed short of the green, but in a fortuitous bounce, the ball nestled on a small, island-like area surrounded by rocks, instead of falling into a water hazard. Choi punched the ball out onto the green and saved par, sending the match into a playoff with Park.

Playoff drama

On their second go at the 18th hole, Choi made his par putt from about 3 feet out to clinch the title, after Park had missed his. Choi’s victory was a remarkable achievement, as he became the oldest champion in KPGA history, surpassing Choi Sang-ho’s previous record set in 2005.

Historic win

Choi took home 260 million won ($191,810) in winner’s check. It was Choi’s 17th career KPGA win and his fourth at the SK Telecom Open. Choi is the all-time Korean leader with eight career wins on the U.S. PGA Tour, where he has been known as K.J. Choi. He has been playing on the senior circuit, the PGA Tour Champions, since turning 50 and has one career victory there.

Reaction from Choi

“I am very happy to win this tournament on my 54th birthday,” Choi said. “It is a special day for me, and I am grateful for all the support I have received.”

By Divya

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *