‘Tank’ Choi Gyeong-ju (53) finished in the lead on the first day of the PGA Champions Tour Sanford International (total prize money of $2 million) and said, “I reduced the number of strokes a lot because it has a lot of hills and is like a Korean course.”
Choi Kyung-ju hit 8 under par 62 with 9 birdies and 1 bogey in the first round of the tournament held at Minnehaha Country Club (par 70, 6,729 yards) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA on the 16th (Korean time). He is tied for the lead with Steve Stricker (USA) and became the first Korean to win the 2020 Pure Insurance Championship on the senior tour for those aged 50 and older.
Choi Kyung-ju, who started the first half with a loss of strokes due to a bogey on the 3rd hole, made up for it with consecutive birdies on the 4th and 5th holes, and gained another birdie on the 7th hole to gain momentum. He finished the game in good spirits by catching three consecutive birdies starting from the 9th hole and rising straight to the lead, then continuing his streak of 3 consecutive birdies starting from the 14th hole.
On this day, Choi Kyung-joo’s driver shot distance was 287.5 yards, which was powerful enough to rank 33rd, and he hit the green within the regular number of strokes in all holes. He went into a bunker once, but like the best sand player, he maintained par on that hole. His average putts per hole was also 1.67, ranking 9th.
After finishing the match, Choi Gyeong-ju said, “The bogey on the 3rd hole was my medicine.” “It was a 15-meter putt, but the distance was about 3 meters shorter, so I made bogey. Momentum came as I caught a birdie on the next hole, the par 5 hole 4. After that, I made good 12- and 10-meter putts and made a lot of birdies.”메이저놀이터
Choi Gyeong-ju mentioned that the course environment was like Korea and the hospitality of the local people. “It is close to the Korean course as it has hills and ups and downs. The green was also bentgrass like in Korea, so it was easy to read. “Many local residents were enthusiastic and welcomed the players, so we had a great time.”
Regarding the fact that his distance did not decrease even as he got older and he achieved good results, he said, “I did stretching and workouts, and that hit the mark this time,” and added, “It was a good time in the pro-am, and all of these things had an effect on the game.”
He then expressed his commitment to winning his second tour. “I will do everything I can in the remaining two days to deliver good news with good results.” The second round of Choi Kyung-joo’s match, which is attempting for his second win in the senior tour following his eight wins in the regular tour, will be broadcast live on the JTBC Golf & Sports channel from 5 a.m. on the 17th (Sunday).