Melbourne, Nov 19 (IANS) Korean K.J. Choi hopes a return to his “second home” will spark a title run at the World Cup of Golf starting on Thursday.
Along with countryman Bae Sang-moon, Choi will tee up in the elite 60-man field at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, having featured in the Presidents Cup here two years ago.
“My coach is Australian, my trainer is Australian and in the past I have spent three years here in the winter months, so I feel at home here, second home here. That’s why it feels good to be here,” said Choi.
Since cutting his professional teeth in Asia, Choi has become one of the most successful Asian golfers in the world where he has accumulated eight PGA Tour titles, including The Players Championship.
Choi’s best finish in the World Cup was third in 2002 with Hur Suk-ho when the event was more focused as a team format. This year’s edition, which is modelled after the 2016 Olympics qualification, will offer $7 million for the individual category and $1 million for nations.
He also recalled the first time he successfully negotiated qualifying for the World Cup to feature at Kiawah Island in 1997 which he said provided the big push for him to play his way onto the PGA Tour.
“The World Cup made my life change. At that time, I decided to set up my goal to become a professional golfer in the United States,” said Choi.
Bae, who won three Asian Tour titles before establishing himself with a victory at the Byron Nelson Championship earlier this year, hopes to make a strong impression at only his second World Cup appearance.
“K.J. is a really good player so I am very excited. I had a practice round but this course is a bit tough, a little different than American courses. I will try my best this week,” he said.Published 19 Nov 2013, 14:44 IST