Choi Kyoung-ju claimed his own tournament on home soil Sunday, taking the inaugural the CJ Invitational Hosted by K.J. Choi with a final round comeback.
Choi shot a five-under 67 in the final round at Haesley Nine Bridges in Yeoju, about 105 kilometers south of Seoul, for a four-round total of 17-under. Noh Seung-yul carded a 66 Sunday and finished two strokes behind Choi for second place.
Choi entered the final round three shots back of the leader Lee Ki-sang. But Lee only managed a 74 to drop into a tie for third with Anthony Kim at 13-under.
Choi took the lead over Lee on the par-4 10th with a birdie putt, and made birdies on 13th and 16th to seal the deal.
Choi earned US$118,000 for the victory, his first in South Korea in three years. This was the first golf tournament held in South Korea bearing the name of an active golfer.
"I knew Anthony Kim and Lee Ki-sang, my playing partners, weren't struggling," Choi said. "I just tried to enjoy my own game."
The K.J. Choi Foundation and Asian Tour Media jointly created the event in May this year, and the Korean Golf Tour (KGT) and the Asian Tour co-sanctioned the tournament.
The 41-year-old Choi is largely considered the greatest male golfer from South Korea. He is the first Korean man to win on the PGA Tour and has enjoyed a banner year in 2011, highlighted by his win at The Players Championship, the tour's richest tournament with a winner's prize of $1.71 million. He is ranked fourth on the PGA Tour money list this season with more than $4.4 million and is 14th in the world.