골프 거성들 주최 대회서 빛나는 ‘K. J. 최’ (최경주)

CHOI FINDS PLENTY OF SUCCESS BY PLAYING WITH GOLF’S GREATS
  조회:  1,889   등록 일자: July 09   카테고리: 
BETHESDA, Md. - In a brand new tournament at a historic golf course, K. J. Choi stood in a yawning bunker by the 17th green of Congressional Country Club, digging his spikes into the sand with his golf club hovering over the ball. 베세즈다 (메릴랜드 주) --- 유서깊은 골프 장에서 열린 새로 생긴 대회에서 K. J. 최는 콩글레셔널 컨트리 클럽 17번 홀의 큼지막한 그린 옆 벙커에 서게 되었다. 그는 신발을 모래속으로 깊이 밟아넣고 클럽을 공 바로 위에서 흔들어 겨냥을 했다. As a loud and sun-baked gallery grew quiet, Choi took a slash at the dirt, sending droplets of sand and the ball toward the green. When the ball trickled onto the surface and disappeared into the hole for a birdie, Choi unleashed an uppercut worthy of the tournament host. 햇볕에 타면서 지껄대던 관중이 소리를 죽이고 난 다음, 최는 마침내 벙커 숏 을 날렸다. 모래의 작은 뭉치들과 공이 그린을 향해 떠났다. 공은 그린위에 떨 어져 굴러가더니 홀 안으로 폭싹 들어갔다. 버디 숏이다. 대회 주최자가 부럽 지 않을, 힘찬 ‘어퍼 컷’ 동작으로 최는 버디를 자축했다. Five weeks after he won Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament, Choi took the title at the inaugural AT&T National, with Tiger Woods as the host, shooting a two-under-par 68 in Sunday’s final round to defeat Steve Stricker by three strokes and find himself in an exclusive club of one. Choi finished with a nine-under-par 271 and joined Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Zach Johnson as the only players with multiple victories this season. In winning official events held by Nicklaus and Woods, however, Choi stood alone. “I’m just shocked at myself being able to win Jack and Tiger’s tournament,” Choi, 37, said through an interpreter. “I can’t express what this means to me. I just tried to make myself as comfortable as I could and approach it like a professional. “This tournament is too big to absorb right now.” As he did in winning the Memorial, Choi surged to the lead against one of the strongest fields of the season. Stuart Appleby, who held a two-shot lead over Choi going into the final round, shot a 76 and lost for the second time this season when holding the 54-hole lead. He held a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Masters in April and shot a three-over-par 75. Woods, who wore many hats during the week, shot a par 70 and finished tied for sixth in his final event before the British Open begins July 19 at Carnoustie in Scotland. “I had a great time,” Woods said. “The tournament’s come together in such a short span of time, and everyone’s worked hard to make it happen. From what I’ve seen walking around the golf course, this tournament has been embraced by the people here in the D.C. area. We’ve been lucky.” Nearly 140,000 fans descended upon Congressional during the week, including 37,211 on Sunday. “It felt like a minimajor out there,” said Stricker, who shot a 70. Already an icon in South Korea, where he learned to play golf while reading an instructional book by Nicklaus, Choi is gaining in stature in the United States. If Woods was the tournament’s leading man, Choi was easily the best supporting actor, with a vocal and passionate gallery of his own. One fan carried a sign with the words “Go Tank” written on it. Tank is Choi’s nickname from his days as a weight lifter in Wando, South Korea, where he could squat more than 300 pounds by age 13. Asked who was more popular in Korea ? himself or the Hall of Fame golfer Se Ri Pak ? Choi played it down the middle. “I think we’re both walking a similar path right now,” he said. “You can’t really compare who is better, who is more popular. I think what she has done on the L.P.G.A. Tour is tremendous. “There may be another Se Ri Pak following in her footsteps, there may be another K. J. Choi following in my footsteps.” The Choi at Congressional was plenty strong. He trailed Stricker by one shot through 13 holes but took a two-shot lead after Stricker bogeyed Nos. 14 and 15 and he birdied 15 when he rolled in a 15-foot downhill putt. His 30-foot bunker shot on 17 gave Choi a stress-free walk down the 18th hole, where Woods was waiting for him with a trophy, the way Nicklaus was last month. Woods, wearing a blue blazer over his traditional Sunday red shirt, smiled as he handed off the trophy and Choi raised it to his lips. “I can’t say which one makes me feel better,” Choi said when asked which title meant more to him. “They are both valuable. One thing I can say is Tiger’s trophy is a lot heavier than Jack’s trophy, if that means anything.”
관련 기사보기
본 내용을 무단 전재, 도용할 경우 저작권법에 의해 엄중 처벌 받게 될 것임을 경고합니다