K.J Choi will be relying upon the single-minded focus that has elevated the Korean to Number Five on the Official World Golf Ranking to bring success in his homeland at the Ballantine’s Championship.
Choi, the highest ranked player in the field at the Pinx Golf Club and a true superstar in his homeland, is the favourite to win the inaugural Ballantine’s Championship, but he will meet strong resistance from the likes of Open Champion Padraig Harrington, PGA Tour stars Chris DiMarco and Anthony Kim as well as his compatriots Yang Yong Eun and SK Ho.
Not that any of those names bother the 37 year old Choi, who will focus purely on his own game when he tees off alongside DiMarco and Kim on Thursday.
“If all the players are out there worried about whether the other guy is going to be playing better than him, I think that's the wrong approach,” said Choi.
“The right approach is thinking about how you're going to overcome yourself, how you’re going to adjust to the conditions here. It’s about how you set your own strategy for the week, not worrying about the other player.
“Just from experience, I think players who have won in the past have a good chance. I'll definitely try my best to win this week and I hope everybody else plays well, too.”
Choi, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, has returned home from his US base to take part and is looking forward to putting on a show for his fans.
“Every year I try to showcase my improved talent to my fans, starting with my win at the Sony Open [in Hawaii in January]. That was a very good win for me because it was great to win in front of my fans in Hawaii and it was a great start to the year.
“This week the goal, like any other player, is to give the best performance that I can without putting too much pressure on myself. It’s always good to be back in Korea and I just want to give the best performance that I can.”
Choi is delighted that the European Tour has come to Korea for the first time and hopes visiting players will get a good impression of his country.
He also wants up-and-coming Korean professionals to benefit from the experience of competing alongside elite players.
“A lot of good players around the world have come a long way, they’ve flown to Korea to play this tournament and I just want to be a good host.
“I hope this week turns out to be a very nice week for everyone so that they all have a good experience, especially for the Korean players, this is a good opportunity for them to improve the level of their game.
“Playing well in this tournament is going to open a lot of doorways to good opportunities.
“I just want the players to be able to experience that and hopefully all of the foreign players who have come here to play this week will enjoy the tournament.”
|T1||SINGH, Jeev Milkha||IND||18||-24|