Seoul, Korea: Choi Kyung-ju will bid for an unprecedented fourth title at next week’s SK Telecom Open, the third event on OneAsia’s 2015 calendar, just days after celebrating his 45th birthday.
Choi has a fantastic record at the tournament, which is supported by his main sponsor SK Telecom, and has recorded a string of high finishes as well as his victories in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
Since the SK Telecom Open first joined OneAsia in 2010, he has placed third, 12th, 13th, 10th and was fifth last year, three shots adrift of winner Kim Seung-hyuk.
Kim, who ended the 2015 season as OneAsia’s number one thanks to victories at the SK Telecom Open and Kolon Korea Open, will defend his title at Sky72’s Ocean Course in a field that also includes former winners Park No-seok, like Choi a three-time winner, Kim Bi-o and Park Sang-hyun.
Although his form and ranking have dipped in recent years, Choi still competes at the highest level and was tied 42nd at last week’s Players Championship, which he won in 2011.
That victory was his eighth on the PGA Tour and he has won on the Asian, Japan and European Tours in a stellar career that has marked him down as one of the continent’s most successful players.
He is also a noted philanthropist and donated US$100,000 through the KJ Choi Foundation to help those affected by last month’s devastating earthquake in Nepal.
“Watching the news and seeing so many people lose their lives, their homes and sleeping outside, I just realised how lucky I am for this life,” said Choi, who has also given generously to help ease people’s pain after tragedies in his native Korea, United States, Haiti and the Philippines.
“It touched my heart. We all live in the same world, but so many people are suffering because of this disaster. We are lucky enough to be out here playing, so, as part of the help and recovery process, I’ve chosen to donate.”
Choi won the 2008 SK Telecom Open over Sky72’s Ocean Course so knows what to expect from the layout which favours long hitters.
The Korean, who celebrates his birthday on Tuesday, would like nothing more than to honour the tournament hosts by winning a fourth title.
World Sport Group, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, is the Media Partner for OneAsia, handling television coverage for all events.