“Golf is not played on the street.”
Korean golf’s ‘legend’ Choi Gyeong-ju (53) showed a ‘one move’ in Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour’s signature long hitters Kim Bio (33) and Jeong Chan-min (24). It was in the first round of the SK Telecom Open (total prize money of 1.3 billion won) held at Pinx GC (par 71.7326 yards) in Seogwipo, Jeju Island on the 18th.
On this day, Choi Kyung-ju played in a group with Kim Bio, the previous year’s champion, and Jung Chan-min, the winner of the GS Caltex Maekyung Open earlier this month. Bio Kim is currently the representative long hitter who ranks first in distance on the Korean Tour. Jung Chan-min is emerging as ‘Korea’s Yon-Ram’ with his overwhelming physicality and explosive long hits.
Choi Kyung-joo is currently running the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour and the Champions Tour, in which players over 50 years of age participate. He is the first Korean to win the Champions Tour and is active as a ‘perpetual active player 안전놀이터‘.
Faced with the two hottest players on the Korean Tour, Choi Gyeong-ju threw the number of wins with precision from the first hole (par 4). Bio Kim and Chan-min Jeong were like long hitters representing the Korean Tour. Wood also sent for 287 and 274 yards, respectively. Bio Kim, who dropped his tee shot into the bunker, put it on the green on his third shot and saved a par. Chan-min Jeong sent his tee shot to the fairway and made a 2-on, but failed to putt for birdie and finished the first hole with a par.
Choi Kyung-ju had the shortest tee shot distance. He had 153 yards with his driver and fell into a bunker. However, the ‘god of the bunker’ was still alive. The shot from the bunker flew 108.7 yards, stuck 2m next to the pin, and caught a birdie.
The match was delayed for more than 4 hours due to bad weather in Jeju. For this reason, Choi Kyung-ju, who was in the afternoon group, teed off well past 4:00 p.m. As of 6:00 p.m., up to the 6th hole, Choi Kyung-ju caught 2 birdies and put his name on the top of the leaderboard with 2 under par. Jeong Chan-min recorded 1 under par and Kim Bio recorded 3 over par. Lee Jae-kyung, with one eagle and three birdies, leads alone.
The organizing committee plans to start the second round after the remaining rounds on the 19th. Jeju’s capricious weather is the biggest variable, but it is a will to complete the 72-hole tournament by setting the 22nd as a reserve day.