In the past year, K.J. Choi has won more than $4 million on the PGA Tour.
On one hand, the money is irrelevant, he said. On the other hand, he uses it to help others.
Choi, the first South Korean to earn a PGA Tour card, is known for his charity. His foundation helps underprivileged children, and he’s known to assist others at a moment’s notice.
After winning the 2011 Players Championship, Choi donated $200,000 of his winnings toward tornado relief efforts in the southeastern United States.
“I give to somebody and it helps,” said Choi, who entered 2012 with more than $26 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour. “There are many good chances in the states, in America. I’m very proud to play on the PGA Tour. More people I can help.
“Money is not a big deal. Every week, I try my best.”
Choi is trying to win the Masters Tournament after a pair of top-10 finishes the past two years.
In 2010, he bogeyed Nos. 13 and 14 in the final round and eventually lost by five to Phil Mickelson.
In 2011, Choi mounted another charge, tying for the lead with a birdie at No. 9. He proceeded to shoot 38 on the final nine, closing with bogeys at Nos. 17 and 18. Choi finished tied for eighth, six shots back.
“I’m very close the last two years,” he said. “I’m very comfortable at Augusta National.”
Choi, 41, is making his 10th appearance in the Masters. He said he knows which trees to aim for and what shots to hit, be it a draw or fade.
“The golf course is still very tough in some spots,” he said. “I’m more comfortable with the control of my second shot.”
Choi was working on his putting entering the 2011 Masters, where he finished 10th in that category. He posted his worst putting round Sunday, needing 30 putts.
Choi said he worked on correcting his alignment. He said his right eye is dominant, but he would often
line up his putts with his left eye.
“Not a different technique,” he said. “Just adjusting the alignment.”
The adjustment paid off a month later when Choi defeated David Toms in a playoff to capture The Players Championship.
Choi went on to finish fourth on the PGA Tour money list, his second-best year to date.