Choi shoots even-par in high winds ahead of PGA 500

South Korean men’s golf standout Choi Kyung-ju, 54, showed his veteran status by tying for second place on the first day of the SK Telecom Open (1.3 billion won ($1.3 million)) in high winds.

Choi carded three birdies and a bogey in the first round of the tournament at Pinx Golf Club (par-71) in Seogwipo City, Jeju Island, on Saturday to finish with an even-par 71.

Choi was the only player not to shoot over par on the day, joining Kim Jin-sung, who led the field with a one-under par score, and Jang Dong-kyu, Park Eun-shin and Ok Tae-hoon, who all shot even par.

The secret to his success in the high winds was his own know-how, honed over more than 30 years on the tour.

The winds were gusting up to 9 m/s on average and 13 m/s at times. In the morning, the temperature dropped to freezing and many players wore layers of clothing. The conditions were not ideal for playing, but for Choi, who has traveled the world on tour, it was one of those days.

Choi turned pro in 1993 and is now in her 32nd year on the tour. He has 28 wins on tours around the world, including 16 in South Korea and eight in the U.S. Since moving to the PGA Tour in 2000, he has played in 498 career events and is just two events shy of 500. He is also a veteran of the Champions Tour, where he has played 74 events in his fourth year, so he has seen it all.

“I’m not surprised because I’ve seen winds like this from time to time,” Choi said. “I played the final day of the British Open Senior in Wales last year when it was even stronger than this and it was raining, so I played in very difficult conditions. I was only hitting my driver 180 yards,” he said, ”so I didn’t take it too seriously.

Playing to the wind was also a key factor in her success. “Rather 스포츠토토 than trying to hit the ball into the wind, you have to calculate the wind direction and create a shot that flies straight with a draw or fade, and it helped that I’ve been practicing a lot,” Choi said.

Choi, who finished the first day in a tie for second place, has a chance to break her own record for most wins in the event. Choi has won three times, in 2003, 2005 and 2008. If Choi makes the cut, she will also break the record for most cuts made in a tournament with 22.

Choi, who will return to the United States after the tournament to play on the PGA and Champions Tours, has set his sights on a top-10 finish this year.

“I’ve had two wins in a year on the PGA Tour, but I’ve never been in the top 10 on the money list,” he said. “I’ve been playing on the Champions Tour for a couple years now, but it’s not easy to win here either, especially since the players who used to compete on the PGA Tour have moved to the Champions Tour, so I’m aiming to be in the top 10 on the Champions Tour money list this season.”


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