Yeoju: Korean golfer K.J. Choi will be on a mission to write a slice of history on the Asian Tour while maintaining his reputation as a gracious host at the $750,000 C.J. Invitational which starts Thursday.
Choi, who won the tournament in 2011 and 2012, will aim to be the first player to win the same Asian Tour event for the third straight occasion.
Among those who are expected to stop Choi`s title aspirations include current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnat of Thailand, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, an in-form Scott Hend, who won the Taiwan Masters last week and Major Champion David Toms of the United States.
"I`m eyeing a third win in this event but obviously it won`t be easy. No player has done it on the Asian Tour before and I hope to be the first. But I`ll also be happy if a younger player wins this event as well," said Choi, an eight-time PGA Tour winner.
The Korean has not won this season but insists he is in top-form heading into the event staged at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club.
"I did not win this year but I made all the cuts in all the Major tournaments so that`s a positive sign for me. I finished higher on the US PGA Tour rankings compared to last year so that`s another success for me," said the 43-year-old.
India`s Anirban Lahiri, ranked 10th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, hopes to overcome a stretch of three missed cuts as he aims for a dream pairing with Choi during the weekend.
"It has been a frustrating couple of weeks. It started out horrendously. I`ve played good on the second days and I`ve been unfortunate not to play in the weekends. My game is feeling better and my body is getting better every week," said the three-time Asian Tour winner.
"KJ has set such a high example for Asians all over the world to aim and achieve. He is such a gentleman and a great ambassador for Asian golf. We all try to match up with his game and hopefully I get to play with him during one of the rounds and beat him," said the Indian.