KJ Choi is Johnnie Walker Asian Player of the Year
Korea’s Choi Kyung-ju won the Johnnie Walker Asian Player of the Year award for the second time in his illustrious career during a Bollywood-themed Johnnie Walker Gala Evening on Saturday.
Choi, better known as KJ, triumphed twice on the US PGA Tour last season and broke into the world’s top 10, achievements which earned him the top honour at the Johnnie Walker “Keep Walking” Golf Awards Night.
Two other main awards were presented which saw Korea’s Lee Sung receiving the Johnnie Walker Asian Rising Star Award and Argentine Andres Romero winning the Johnnie Walker Young Player of the Year title.
Winner of the Johnnie Walker Asian Player of the Year award in 2002, Choi edged last year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Liang Wen-chong of China and Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, who won twice in Asia in 2007.
The Korean superstar enjoyed memorable victories at the Memorial Tournament and AT&T National, events hosted by golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods respectively, and finished fifth in the inaugural FedEx Cup.
Lee Sung receives his Rising Star Award from Adam Scott
Lee Sung, who was born deaf, made it a double celebration for Korea when he picked up the Johnnie Walker Asian Rising Star award after enjoying his winning breakthrough on the Asian Tour by winning the Bangkok Airways Open last year.
Lee, who received his award from world number five Adam Scott, was truly a worthy winner as the Johnnie Walker Awards embodies the spirit of its “Keep Walking” message which inspires people to achieve their dreams and goals.
Romero beat Germany’s Martin Kaymer, American Tadd Fujikawa and Ireland’s Rory McIlroy for the Young Player of the Year Award. The swashbuckling Argentine contended at The Open Championship in Carnoustie in July before going on to win his maiden title in Germany the following week. During that glorious run, he rose from 114th to 29th position in the world ranking.
The selection panel of the Johnnie Walker Awards Night included officials from the Asian, European and Australasian Tours.
Past winners of the Johnnie Walker Asian Golfer of the Year include Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit in 1995, Kyi Hla Han, the Executive Chairman of the Asian Tour, in 1998, Korea’s KJ Choi (2002) and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh in 2006.
Former winners of the Young Golfer of Year include Luke Donald (2004), Adam Scott (2003), Justin Rose (2002) and Sergio Garcia (2001) whilst last year, Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand was the inaugural winner of the Johnnie Walker Asian Rising Star Award.
March 2, 2008