PEBBLE BEACH, California – A few dozen spectators and three grazing deer surrounded the first tee at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Thursday, while they Stretch their neck to get a better view of the players who are starting the hole. The foursome included Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of Green Bay Packers, who grew up in Chico for five hours, starred in California, and all day was followed by a shout of "Go Bears" – which he recognized by saying "Go Bears , but not Chicago ". "
Rodgers, however, was not the main attraction of his group, and he liked that, in fact he actually signed up for a supporting role, and last month he used his Twitter account to give a petition to to play the first three rounds of the AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with Choi Ho-Sung, the 194th player in the world to make his PGA Tour debut on a sponsor's exemption.
Choi & # 39; s swing was known in the United States before it arrived at Pebble Beach and has become a viral sensation because Choi, a South Korea-born and regular of the Japan Tour, is a cross between Chi Chi Rodriguez and Fred Astaire.
Choi revolves around his follow-through as if his club is his dance partner, his pre-swing routine is also unique, resembling an oblique muscle trajectory, he turns left and his eyes close on his left shoulder while he is club holds high, as if he e and petroleum lantern wants to light. He pauses long enough at the top to breathe loudly and makes a "shoo" sound before he settles over his ball.
Jordan Spieth, the threefold big winner and champion 2017 on Pebble Beach, had seen video's of Choi and was one of those who wanted to see him up close.
"I was actually fascinated, clearly, by his swing and the way he moves," Spieth said, adding, "It's just very entertaining, I think people are very excited about see him this week. "19459001 Choi, 45, did not play until he was about as old as 25-year-old Spieth, but he has a showman's touch. The bigger the crowd, the more he seems to play on it. When Choi came to warm applause at the first t-shirt, he bowed to the fans on three sides of the tee box before settling in his pre-hospital routine.
On another T-piece he grabbed his driver's head cover, decorated with strewn stars, pretending to back-dry Rodgers and Jerry Kelly, the other pro, by brushing it over their sweaters. Later the other amateur, the actor Chris Donnell, Rodgers teased about his mustache, which was reminiscent of the facial hair of Burt Reynolds in the film Smokey and the Bandit from the 70s. Rodgers looked at Choi, who was in the neighborhood. stood, and Choi gave him the thumbs up.
"Look," Rodgers said, "Ho-Sung likes it."
Choi surprised Rodgers with his English skills, after Rodgers Choi surprised by greeting him in Korean. Kelly introduced herself to Choi on the practice green with an outstretched hand and a broad grin. "We will have so much fun!" He told him.
After the round, Choi broke into a broad smile of his own and said that Kelly was right.
"I think my link was just as good as the weather," Choi said through an interpreter, referring to the abundant sunshine and negligible breeze, "and I learned a lot from Jerry Kelly." 19459001 Choi knows that he has a lot of catching up to do. He was training for a job in fishing, he said, until he lost the tip of his right thumb in a chainsaw accident at 23.
Doctors confirmed the tip again, and Choi pointed out his focus, landed a part-time job at a golf course two years later. It was there that he was improving his autodidact swing
This is his first trip to the United States, he said, and he arrived with great enthusiasm, but no approval at all. His black hat and turquoise sweater both had the logo of Pebble Beach Golf Links and his caddy wore a new TaylorMade bag that looked perfect for Choi, with a silhouette logo of his successor, complete with kick-kick.
Choi said he deliberately chose his first-round outfit. "I wanted to express my appreciation for the tournament because I was here," he said, adding: "I am incredibly grateful and that's why I wear the logo."
The group was led by Jonah Webster, a 16-year-old golfer from Sonora, California, about 170 miles northeast of Monterey Bay. His grandfather, Steve Lee, who was next to him on Thursday, said Webster had been excited when he found out that he would carry the Rodgers scoreboard, one of his idols, and Choi, whose swing he had watched on YouTube.
Lee joked that he had told his grandson to close his eyes when Choi took away the club, because his swing was not really something that the young people who could be influenced had to try. "It's nice to draw for a man who is so unique," Lee said.
Outside the ropes, others seemed to share Lee's sentiment. They cheered for every good photo and great escape orchestrated by Choi, who was four after 10 holes but made three birdies in the last eight to save a 1-over 72.
"I absolutely loved my fans," said Choi, "and I felt that that pushed me more to focus on the back nine."
Choi struggles nonetheless, at least he impressed Rodgers. "He is not a sideshow," said the quarterback. "He can play, and I think it is very good for golf."