South Korea’s K.J. Choi capped off an energy-sapping week yesterday with a closing four-under-par 67 to win the C.J. Invitational he hosts for the second successive year.
The Asian Tour honorary member will donate his US$118,875 winnings to his KJ Choi Foundation, as he did after his victory 12 months ago.
Choi clinched the title with a total of 15-under-par 269.
“I’ve always said that this tournament is all about giving back to the community and that’s what I’m going to do with my winnings. I’ll never be where I am today if not for golf and the great support from everyone,” Choi said.
South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon, who was piling the pressure on Choi until a bogey-six on the 14th hole, had to settle for sharing second place with compatriot Jang Dong-kyu on 271.
South Korea’s Kim Dae-hyun, who shared the third round lead with Choi, signed for a 71 to take fourth place, while Australia’s Scott Hend and seven-time Asian Tour winner Charlie Wi of South Korea took a share of fifth place after they closed with matching 70s for a 274 total.
Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil’s putting touch deserted him on the final day and he finished in seventh place, six shots behind Choi.
After heavy fog seriously delayed play over the past two days, Choi had to return in the morning to complete the remaining nine holes for his third round.
He was still trying to find the rhythm in his game as he marked his inward-nine with one bogey and one birdie.
“I was starting to warm up when I came back in the morning to complete my third round. But once I got through those nine holes, three key elements came back into my game — see, feel and trust,” Choi said.
After taking a 15-minute break between rounds, Choi came out strongly with two birdies in his opening four holes.
He dropped a shot on the ninth, but answered back with a hat-trick of birdies starting from the 11th hole.