South Korean golfer Choi Ho-sung made his PGA Tour debut Friday (Korea time) at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament (with the total prize of 7.6 million dollars). The 45-year-old player finished the opening round in 111th place with a 1-over 72.
Choi was greeted by rapturous applause as he was introduced on the first tee at Monterey Peninsula Country Club (par 71) in California. He bowed to the fans surrounding the tee box, and struck the first tee shot. Spectators were able to see themselves Choi’s signature follow-through, on which he lifts his foot off the ground and swings it around his body.
Foreign media outlets have portrayed the South Korean golfer, who took part in the tournament at Pebble Beach on a sponsor’s exemption, as a real “scene stealer.” They said he was the main attraction of the tournament, which was participated by the world’s top professional golfers including Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Phil Mickelson (all from the United States).
Choi paired with Chris O’Donnell, an American actor whose filmography includes “The Three Musketeers” and “Scent of a Woman.” Another duo alongside Choi and O’Donnell was Jerry Kelly, an American golfer who has three PGA Tour wins and another three PGA Tour Champions wins, and Aaron Rodgers, an American football quarterback of the National Football League (NFL).
Choi has two victories each in South Korea and Japan, but it was apparently tough to adapt himself to the course of the regular PGA Tour tournaments. “I have abundant experience in tournaments in South Korea and Japan, but the green was different this time. It was too fast,” Choi said.
Meanwhile, Brian Gay and Scott Langley (both from the United States) shared the lead after the opening round (with a seven-under-par), and Kim Si-woo (CJ) was thus far the top South Korean golfer, finishing third alongside Phil Mickelson (with a six-under-par).