Korean golf star Choi seeks an elusive major title

Korean golf star K.J. Choi, seeking an elusive first Major title, says the fire is still burning strong in his belly.

Updated: October 15, 2011 16:35 IST
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Seoul: Korean golf star K.J. Choi, seeking an elusive first Major title, says the fire is still burning strong in his belly.

Choi, who will host his own Asian Tour tournament - the $750,000 CJ Invitational - at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club next week, was pipped by countryman Y.E. Yang in the race to become Asia's first male Major champion.

The 41-year-old Choi said: "The fire is strong, and it will always be. However, even if I don't win a Major, I am still very grateful for what I have achieved. Honestly, it is so much more than what I had imagined."

A four-time winner on the Asian Tour and with eight wins, including this year's Players Championship, on the PGA Tour, Choi was the Asian Tour's first graduate to hit big time in the United States.

He believes he will have opportunities to break his Major drought following changes made to his golf swing this season.

"My golf swing is still in progress. I know how I need to swing, but it takes a long time for me to get used to it to the point where I can execute such swing in every shot. I feel more confident about my swing on the range, but I need to take that approach during my competitive rounds and execute it," said Choi, who finished third and fourth at the US Masters in 2004 and 2010 respectively.

He conceded that his victory at the Players Championship, long regarded as the unofficial fifth Major of the world, came as a surprise as he had never fared well in the event.

"I have been blessed with so many good things this year. I honestly didn't think that the Players Championship win would come so soon, but putting the win aside, I am happier because I was able to gain my confidence back and I know what I need to improve on to get to the next level."

Apart from the CJ Invitational, which is one of four new events to feature on the Asian Tour this season, Choi said he would continue to be involved with the game at various levels through his Foundation.

The tournament will feature 55 players each from the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour plus 10 sponsor's invitations, making it a 120-man field.

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