Choi accepts honorary membership of Asian Tour

December 9th, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Sentosa, Dec 9 (IANS) Korean star K.J. Choi has accepted an invitation to become an honorary member of the Asian Tour, joining Vijay Singh in the roll of honour.Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said Choi was an inspiration to many players as he had honed his game in Asia before going on to become a top-class player in the world where he is ranked 18h.

Choi has won seven times on the US PGA Tour and once on the European Tour to become Korea’s most successful male golfer and is widely touted as the Asian most likely to win a Major where he has come close on several occasions.

The US-based Choi said: “I feel very honoured and respected. When I started playing professional golf, the Asian Tour was where everybody in Asia wanted to play. For me to be inducted as an Honorary Member is truly rewarding.”

Choi’s rise to fame has been well documented. The son of a rice farmer, he grew up on Wando Island which did not have any golf courses. At the suggestion of his school teachers, Choi gave up powerlifting and turned to golf where he diligently referred to Jack Nicklaus’ instruction book “My Way” to learn the game.

He joined the Asian Tour in the mid-1990s and won the Korean Open in 1999 before venturing to Japan. He later earned his US Tour card from Qualifying School at the end of 1999.

Choi acknowledged that the Asian Tour has played a big role in his career.

“The Asian Tour set the foundation for my golfing career. Through the opportunity to travel to different countries, I learned about different cultures, playing in different conditions, and these things taught me to be patient,” said Choi, who has won three times on the Asian Tour on Korean soil,” added the 38-year-old.

Han was delighted that the Korean star has thrown his backing behind the Asian Tour.

“K.J. Choi is an inspiration to many of our players. We are honoured that he has accepted our invitation to become an Honorary Member. As a product of the Asian Tour, he has shown that Asian players can succeed on the world’s biggest stage,” said Han.

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