The Open Championship defines links golf. With little protection from the ever changing wind, swirling and gusting over every green, the confidence of even the finest golfers can be swept away in seconds. Missing a fairway is an unforgivable crime. If you even manage to find your ball, despite the help of a hundred strong crowd, getting it up and out and then stopping it on the green, is a test you'll never forget.
This year hosted by the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, which began its Open history in 1897, the course will provide a tough test for K.J Choi, who aims to carry home the Claret Jug. Halfway leader at Royal Birkdale in 2008, Choi will be hoping for a similar performance over the first two rounds in 2014. However, miss the green here on a par 3, and your chances of winning could well be over. But with genuine birdie opportunities at 15, 16 and 18, there is sure to be a climatic finish come Sunday afternoon.
In what will be his 15th Open appearance, K.J is sure to be focusing on hitting low shots and putting, which is crucial in the ever changing wind. Choi reunites with former caddie Andy Prodger for this event, who together have enjoyed a dozen worldwide victories, in the hope that he can be inspired to his first major win.
Although Choi missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic last time out, he has twice been a runner up on the tour this year and is ranked 26th overall for strokes gained putting, meaning he should be confident he can better his 8th place finish from 2007.
An early start on Thursday morning beckons, with K.J teeing off at 9:15 am (local time) with Charl Schwartzel and Padraig Harrington. K.J, we wish you good luck!
Sam Willis - Contributing Writer, July 16, 2014
K.J. Choi is guaranteed a place on the International Team for The Presidents Cup in October of 2015, having been named as Vice-Captain by Nick Price on Wednesday.
He could guarantee himself a spot as a player should he finish inside the top 10 in points or be chosen as a Captain's Pick when the teams are selected in the fall of 2015. Choi currently ranks 19th in International points.
Either way, the 43-year-old Choi understands the importance of his participation. The Presidents Cup 2015 will be played in Choi's home country of South Korea in Songdo IBD, Incheon City. It's the first time the biennial event will be played in Asia.
"I am feeling immense obligation and burden," Choi said in his opening remarks at the Captain's announcement that took place at the Champion Tour's Big Cedar Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops, as Price and Jay Haas were named captains for next year's event.
"Until now, The Presidents Cup was held in an English-speaking world, and this is the first time that it's being held in a non-English speaking world. With The Presidents Cup being held in Korea, I am quite sure that there will be renewed ideas of what golf is."
Mike McAllister - PGATOUR.COM, June 4, 2014