Seoul, South Korea: Choi Kyung-ju has been named as the Goodwill Ambassador for this year’s Asian Games.
Held every four years, the 2014 Asiad will take place from September 19-October 4 in Incheon, Korea.
“It’s a great personal honour to be named an honorary ambassador for the Asian Games at home,” said 43-year-old Choi, the most successful Korean golfer on the international stage.
Choi, who cut his professional teeth in Asia before going on to win eight times on the PGA Tour, finished 13th at the Players’ Championship last week and is on home soil for this week’s SK Telecom Open.
“I hope I can continue to play well and help promote the Asian Games from now on,” said Choi, an honorary member of the Asian Tour.
The 2014 Asian Games will be the third Asiad hosted by Korea. The first two editions were held in Seoul and Busan in 1986 and 2002 respectively.
Apart from celebrating his appointment, Choi said there are several reasons he wants to do well this week – not least to win for the first time since the 2012 CJ Invitational, a tournament he hosts on the Korean Tour and Asian Tour each year.
“It is my first time home since the ferry accident and the nation is sad,” said Choi, referring to the sinking of the ferry last month with nearly 500 people aboard. “I hope I can do something by winning.”
A generous philanthropist, Choi donated US$320,000 of his purse from the 2008 Sony Open to families of victims a deadly Seoul warehouse fire, and US$200,000 of his Players Championship winnings to help repair damage caused by tornados that ravaged the southeastern United States the week before.
“I also want to win on OneAsia, and also to win for my main sponsor, SK Telecom, who have looked after me and stage this tournament every year,” he said.