‘210 211th class’ Choi Eun-woo realized ‘the importance of golf’
- on May 16, 2023
I put it down and he came looking for me.”
Everyone dreams of the best, but not everyone can make it a reality. If you fail again and again, the word give up is bound to come to mind. As the saying goes, ‘those who survive are strong’, they persevered. Rather, I tried to enjoy it. Then valuable results followed.
Choi Eun-woo (28, Amano Korea), who joined the Korea Women’s Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) tour in 2014, started the KLPGA regular tour in 2015. He maintained the seed every year, but was not a standout player. However, on the 23rd of last month, he won the first championship in his life at the Nexen Saint Nine Masters. This trophy was obtained after 9 years of joining the KLPGA and the 211th tournament. Choi Eun-woo became the protagonist of a reversal drama at an unexpected moment and shed tears.
◆Facing the golf brought on by the nightmare of injury,
I picked up a golf club at the recommendation of my father. Around the same time he became interested in golf, he went to Australia for language training, where he dreamed of becoming a player. Choi Eun-woo said, “I thought I had to do it in earnest from around the first year of his middle school. He was an international student, so he decided to pursue a professional career in Korea and returned after graduating from high school,” he said.
He was confident in his skills, but the championship did not follow. As time passed, his burden only grew. Choi Eun-woo said, “Since his rookie days, he has dreamed of winning every year. He may not win a championship for two or three years, but after five years, the pressure was heavy. He was known as a consistently good player, but he felt unfulfilled.”
In particular, 2018 was an unforgettable year. That year, he finished third at the Doosan Match Play Championship and his confidence soared, but injuries prevented him. There was even a trauma. It was the most difficult period of his life. Choi Eun-woo said, “In the 2018 Doosan Match, I met Pro Park In-bi in the semifinals. Although he lost, he learned a lot,” he said. “But in the fall, his left thumb was seriously injured. I usually go to competitions until November, but I finished the season in September,” he recalled.
Pain developed in the thumb of his left hand, but he played golf repeatedly. As a result, inflammation occurred and ligaments were stretched. I put up with it saying ‘It will be okay’, but in the end I got sick. Choi Eun-woo said, “I am a player who likes to participate in tournaments, but it was very difficult and stressful when I couldn’t play golf due to an injury. He even had a trauma for a year or two.” It was the most difficult since I started golf as my swing did not work and the distance decreased a lot.”
In a sense of desperation, he put down the burden and tried to enjoy it. Choi Eun-woo said, “I thought it would be nice if I could just play golf even if it was just a part 2 tour, not a part 1 tour because it was so difficult with an injury.” Even in the midst of his illness, he took pride in staying seeded. It became an opportunity to pay more attention to taking care of his body. From then on, he became more interested in recovery. He realized that playing golf without getting sick is the best thing.”
He said, “After that, my physical condition improved, but I began to enjoy the competition itself rather than the results. He liked playing golf even if he wasn’t winning. Two or three years ago, I felt my skills improve again,” he laughed.
◆Memories of my first victory and my father
This year, I put more pressure on myself. Choi Eun-woo said, “Until last year, I thought about winning every competition. This year, I really set a goal only to participate. Nine years have passed since joining, and many of his friends have retired.”
Even at the Nexen Saint Nine Masters, he did not care about his grades. He finished the second round in a tie for fourth place, four strokes behind the lead. In the final 3rd round, he succeeded in winning the come-from-behind 6 under par. Choi Eun-woo said, “When I entered the final round, there was a big gap with the leader. He never thought of winning. Since it was early in the season, he only wished he had finished in the top 10. There was no pressure,” he said.
Choi Eun-woo said, “Going into the second half of the final round, I knew that I was in the top ranks. I didn’t know that I was in the lead until the last hole. There was a champion group behind me, so I thought I should just finish well. Still, I was a little nervous when I putt the last hole,” he said. I didn’t even try to tell the ranking in the middle. If I had known, I don’t think I would have played that well.”
It was a dramatic day. April 23, the day he lifted his first championship trophy, was the birthday of his father, Choi Woon-chul토토사이트. I gave him the best birthday present. Choi Eun-woo said, “The competition always overlapped on his father’s birthday. There were times when it was the preliminaries and there were times when it was the finals, but this time it was the last day of the tournament by chance, and he even won the championship. I was doing an interview in a hectic situation, but the first thought of my father came to me,” he said. “He loved it so much. He was amazed and said, ‘How do you win on your birthday?’ He told his father that there would be no bigger birthday present than this in the future.” Choi Eun-woo said, “It took a month to make the trophy, so I haven’t received it yet. His parents have arranged a space for the trophy in the best view next to the television. I think I will put it in the most visible place in the house,” he laughed.
◆For the second win,
of course, I received a lot of congratulations. I had to prepare for another competition right away, but it was not easy to get my mind on it. He said, “My friends who won the championship around me told me a lot. ‘You’re the main character, so enjoy that week a lot, then you’ll be sober,’ he said. I felt a lot of what my friends said,” he said. It was the first time I felt that I couldn’t concentrate. We have to go back to the beginning,” he said.
Choi Eun-woo has set the immediate goal of maintaining his seed for 10 consecutive years. The KLPGA has a ‘K-Club’ that only players who have been active for 10 consecutive years can join. He said, “Nine years have passed really quickly. You may think that it is old. I think to myself, ‘Has it already been 9 years? It went by really quickly,” he said calmly. “If you are active in the KLPGA for 10 years, we give you a prize called ‘K-Club’. There are not many players around who have won this award. If you fill it up by next year, you can ride it. As long as there are no injuries, I think I can fill it up.”
After waiting for 9 years, I got the driving force to run without getting tired as I won my first championship. He said, “I am one of the players who wants to play on the KLPGA tour for a long time. Even though I won the championship late, I felt comfortable. It was difficult at first, but I think the opportunity to win will come again. Having done it once, I want to do it again,” he said. “I also gained motivation to work harder. I will go back to the beginning and run hard for another upcoming championship.”