Who's who: KJ Choi

  • Photo of KJ Choi
  • south-korea.png
  • Photo of KJ Choi
  • south-korea.png

Who's who: KJ Choi

  • Name:

    Kyoung-Ju "KJ" Choi
  • Also known as:

    Tank
  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Born:

    May 19, 1970 in Wando, South Jeolla Province, South Korea.
  • Original/Home Club:

    Gwangju University
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer
  • Turned Pro:

    1993

Roll of Honour

Presidents Cup player (2003, '07, '11). Multiple wins on the US PGA Tr, Asian Tr, European Tour and Japan Tr.

Did you know?

Prior to taking up golf, KJ Choi's sporting career started in the very different world of weight-lifting. The physique he developed explains his nickname, "Tank." After switching to golf, he developed his skills sufficiently to win the Korea Open in 1996 aged 26, and join the Asian Tour. Choi also became a two-time winner on the Japan Tour before earning his PGA Tour card at Q-school in 1999. In terms of PGA Tour victories, KJ Choi is now Asia's most successful golfer.

Top tournaments won by KJ Choi

2021
America
203 (-13)
$330,000
Pure Ins.

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

203 (-13)

Prize money

$330,000

Title sponsor

Pure Ins.

Played as the Pure Insurance Championship (Sept 24-26). Second-placed Bernhard Langer (Ger) and Alex Čejka (Czech/Ger) finished 2 shots behind 51-year-old Kyoung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor), who recorded his first PGA Tour Champions win in his 15th start on the Tour. Choi became the first South Korean golfer to win on the PGA Tour Champions; in 2002 he was the first South Korean to win an event on the regular PGA Tour. [Pebble Beach Golf Links & Poppy Hills GC, Monterey Peninsula, CA. Final round at Pebble Beach].

2012
Asia
Haesley Nine Bridges
269 (-16)
US$118,875
CJ Group

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Haesley Nine Bridges

Score

269 (-16)

Prize money

US$118,875

Title sponsor

CJ Group

Played as the CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi (Oct 4-7; Asian/Korean Trs event). Second-placed Dong-kyu Jang (S Kor) and Sang-moon Bae (S Kor) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [Haesley Nine Bridges, Yeoju, nr Seoul, S. Korea].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

$1,710,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as The Players Championship (May 12-15). Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor) beat David Toms (USA) with a par at the first playoff hole. [Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL].

2011
Asia
Haesley Nine Bridges
271 (-17)
US$118,875
CJ Group

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Haesley Nine Bridges

Score

271 (-17)

Prize money

US$118,875

Title sponsor

CJ Group

Played as the inaugural CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi (Oct 20-23; Asian/Korean Trs event). Second-placed Seung-yul Noh (S Kor) finished 2 shots behind tournament host Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [Haesley Nine Bridges, Yeoju, nr Seoul, S. Korea].

2009
Asia
196 (-20)
US$158,500
Iskandar

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

196 (-20)

Prize money

US$158,500

Title sponsor

Iskandar

Played as the Iskandar Johor Open (Oct 22-25; Asian Tr event). Second-placed Chapchai Nirat (Thai) finished 4 shots behind Kyung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). Reduced to 54 holes due to bad weather. [Johor G&CC, Johor, Malaysia; at the time known as Royal Johor CC].

2008
Asia
Lakeside CC
275 (-13)
KRW 140mill
Shinhan Financial

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Lakeside CC

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

KRW 140mill

Title sponsor

Shinhan Financial

Played as the Shinhan Donghae Open (Oct 9-12; Korean Tr event). Second-placed Suk-ho Hur (S Kor) finished 3 shots behind defending champion Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [Lakeside CC, nr Yongin, Gyeonggi, S Korea].

2008
Asia
Sky 72 GC
272 (-16)
KRW 120mill
SK Telecom

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Sky 72 GC

Score

272 (-16)

Prize money

KRW 120mill

Title sponsor

SK Telecom

Played as the SK Telecom Open (April 17-20; Korean Tr event). Second-placed Kyung-nam Kang (S Kor) finished 4 shots behind Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [Ocean course, Sky 72 GC, Incheon, S Korea].

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

6 skins

Prize money

$415,000

Title sponsor

LG

Played as the LG Skins Game (Nov 29-30). Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor) won with a total of 6 skins worth $415,000. Second was defending champion Stephen Ames (T&T/Can) 6 skins worth $250,000. Third: Phil Mickelson (USA) 4 skins worth $195,000. Fourth: Rocco Mediate (USA) 2 skins worth $140,000. [Celebrity course, Indian Wells Resort, Coachella Valley, California].

2008
America
266 (-14)
$954,000
Sony

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

266 (-14)

Prize money

$954,000

Title sponsor

Sony

Played as the Sony Open in Hawaii (Jan 10-13). Second-placed Rory Sabbatini (RSA) finished 3 shots behind Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor). [Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii].

2007
America
271 (-17)
$1,080,000
Morgan Stanley

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

271 (-17)

Prize money

$1,080,000

Title sponsor

Morgan Stanley

Played as The Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley (May 31-Jun 3). Second-placed Ryan Moore (USA) finished 1 shot behind Kyoung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor), who shot a final round 65 to clinch the title. [Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, nr Columbus, OH].

2007
America
271 (-9)
$1,080,000
AT&T

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

271 (-9)

Prize money

$1,080,000

Title sponsor

AT&T

Played as the inaugural AT&T National hosted by Tiger Woods (Jul 5-8). Second-placed Steve Stricker (USA) finished 3 shots behind Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor), who recorded his second PGA Tour win in 2007. [Blue course, Congressional CC, Bethesda, MD].

2007
Asia
Lakeside CC
276 (-12)
KRW 140mill
Shinhan Financial

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Lakeside CC

Score

276 (-12)

Prize money

KRW 140mill

Title sponsor

Shinhan Financial

Played as the Shinhan Donghae Open (Oct 11-14; Korean Tr event). Second-placed Jong-yul Suk (S Kor) finished 1 shot behind Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [Lakeside CC, nr Yongin, Gyeonggi, S Korea].

2007
Awards
x
Johnnie Walker

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Score

x

Prize money

Title sponsor

Johnnie Walker

Choi (S Kor) won his second Johnnie Walker Asian Player of the Year Award.

2006
America
271 (-13)
$954,000
Chrysler

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

271 (-13)

Prize money

$954,000

Title sponsor

Chrysler

Played as the Chrysler Championship (Oct 26-29). Second-placed Brett Wetterich (USA) and Paul Goydos (USA) finished 4 shots behind Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor), who won this event for the second time. [Copperhead course, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, nr Tampa, FL].

2005
America
Forest Oaks CC
266 (-22)
$900,000
Chrysler

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Forest Oaks CC

Score

266 (-22)

Prize money

$900,000

Title sponsor

Chrysler

Played as the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro (Sept 29-Oct 2). Second-placed Shigeki Maruyama (Jpn) finished 2 shots behind Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor). [Forest Oaks CC, Greensboro, NC].

2005
Asia
Ildong Lakes
275 (-13)
US$98,580
SK Telecom

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Ildong Lakes

Score

275 (-13)

Prize money

US$98,580

Title sponsor

SK Telecom

Played as the SK Telecom Open (May 5-8; Asian/Korean Trs event). Second-placed Fred Couples (USA) and Andrew Buckle (Aus) finished 5 shots behind Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [Ildong Lakes GC, Kyonggi-do, S Korea].

2003
Europe
262 (-26)
€500,000
Linde

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

262 (-26)

Prize money

€500,000

Title sponsor

Linde

Played as the Linde German Masters (Sept 18-21). Second-placed Miguel Ángel Jiménez (Esp) finished 2 shots behind first-time European Tour winner Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor). [GC Gut Lärchenhof, Pulheim, nr Cologne, Germany].

2003
Asia
BA Vista CC
201 (-15)
US$85,500
SK Telecom

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

BA Vista CC

Score

201 (-15)

Prize money

US$85,500

Title sponsor

SK Telecom

Played as the SK Telecom Open (June 26-29; Asian/Korean Trs event). Kyoung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor) beat Yong-jin Shin (S Kor) with a 10-foot birdie putt at the second playoff hole. Reduced to 54 holes due to rain. [BA Vista CC, Daedeoksan Mountain, nr Seoul, S Korea; at the time known as Baekahmvista CC].

2002
America
267 (-17)
$468,000
Buick

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

267 (-17)

Prize money

$468,000

Title sponsor

Buick

Played as the Tampa Bay Classic presented by Buick (Sept 19-22). Second-placed Glen Day (USA) finished 7 shots behind Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor), who recorded his second PGA Tour win. [Copperhead course, Innisbrook Resort, Palm Harbor, nr Tampa, FL].

2002
Awards
x
Johnnie Walker

Category

Awards

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Score

x

Prize money

Title sponsor

Johnnie Walker

Choi (S Kor) won the Johnnie Walker Asian Player of the Year Award.

2002
America
271 (-17)
$810,000
Compaq

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Score

271 (-17)

Prize money

$810,000

Title sponsor

Compaq

Played as the Compaq Classic of New Orleans (May 2-5). Second-placed Dudley Hart (USA) and Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) finished 4 shots behind 31-year-old Kyung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor), who recorded his first PGA Tour win. [English Turn G&CC, New Orleans, LA].

1999
Japan
Ube 72 CC
272 (-16)
¥20million
x

Category

Japan

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Ube 72 CC

Score

272 (-16)

Prize money

¥20million

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Ube Kosan Open (May 20-23). Second-placed Kazuhiko Hosokawa (Jpn) finished 3 shots behind Kyung-ju Choi (S Kor; known as "K.J." Choi), who recorded his second Japan Tour win. [Mannennike East course, Ube 72 CC, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan].

1999
Asia
Hanyang CC
278 (-10)
US$64,600
Kolon

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Hanyang CC

Score

278 (-10)

Prize money

US$64,600

Title sponsor

Kolon

Played as the Kolon Korea Open (Sept 16-19; Asian/Korean Trs event). Second-placed Kyi Hla Han (Taiw) finished 1 shot behind Kyoung-Ju "KJ" Choi (S Kor). [Hanyang CC, Goyang, nr Seoul, S Korea].

1997
Asia
New Seoul CC
271 (-17)
KRW 27mill
Astra

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

New Seoul CC

Score

271 (-17)

Prize money

KRW 27mill

Title sponsor

Astra

Played as the Astra Cup KPGA Championship (June 19-22; Korean Tr event). Second-placed Nam-sin Park (S Kor) finished 5 shots behind Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor). [New Seoul CC, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, S Kor].

1996
Asia
Hanyang CC
279 (-9)
ELORD

Category

Asia

Winner (holder)

Choi, KJ

Venue

Hanyang CC

Score

279 (-9)

Prize money

Title sponsor

ELORD

Played as the ELORD Korea Open (Sept 12-15; Korean Tr event). Second-placed Jong-duk Kim (S Kor) finished 1 shot behind Kyoung-ju "K.J." Choi (S Kor), who recorded his first significant professional win. [Hanyang CC, Goyang, nr Seoul, S Korea].

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