K.J. Choi falls just short of ending PGA Tour drought

February 1, 2016
K.J. Choi (AP)

K.J. Choi (AP)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korean veteran golfer Choi Kyung-ju fell short of ending his PGA Tour title drought on Monday in California.

Choi, better known by his initials K.J., finished alone in second at the weather-interrupted Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California, on Monday.

The South Korean stumbled to a four-over 76 in the final round played over two days, with five bogeys and one birdie, to finish at five-under 283 for the tournament, one stroke behind the champion Brandt Snedeker.

Choi, an eight-time PGA Tour winner, was chasing his first victory since The Players Championship in May 2011. Instead, he had to settle for his first top-10 finish since tying for second at the Travelers Championship in June 2014.

Choi started the final round on Sunday as a co-leader with Scott Brown at nine-under. He promptly dropped a shot with a bogey a the first and had another bogey at the fourth, before recovering with a birdie at the sixth, which put him in the lead at eight-under.

The final round play was interrupted by three weather delays until officials decided to suspend it and set up a Monday finish. Choi was six-under through 10 when the play was halted, one behind Jimmy Walker and tied with Snedeker, who’d already completed his round of three-under 69, an impressive score given the treacherous conditions.

To start Monday, Choi parred his first three holes before committing a costly bogey at the par-4 14th. He pushed his tee shot and put his second shot in the rough, and then missed nine-foot par putt to fall to five-under.

With Snedeker watching, the bottom fell out for Walker, too, as he closed out with three bogeys over his final four holes and ended up at three-under, tied for fourth.

Choi remained one stroke behind Snedeker standing on the tee at the par-5 18th, where he’d picked up a birdie in the first and third rounds.

After laying up on the 570-yard hole, Choi left himself 113 yards to the pin with his third shot. His eight-iron went long and right, and Choi missed his 26-footer for a birdie that would have forced a playoff.

Snedeker won the tournament for the first time since 2012 without hitting a shot on Monday.

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