Hoping to recapture some of their old magic, South Korean PGA Tour veteran Choi Kyung-ju has reunited with his former caddie Andy Prodger for the Open Championship this week in England.
In an interview with the Asian Tour Wednesday, Choi said he brought Prodger out of retirement for the season’s third major tournament. The Open Championship will start at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Thursday.
“This week, Andy has come back to be on my bag. He lives in Scotland, so it made sense to have him with me here,” Choi said.
“Two years ago, he said he was tired and wanted to retire as my caddie but after staying home for a while, he’s now better physically. We were together for nine years, so it’s good to have him back.”
Prodger also caddied at last year’s Open Championship at Muirfield, working the bag for the only Chinese player in the field, Wu Ashun.
|Korea’s Choi Kyung-ju plays a bunker shot on the 15th hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open on Tuesday. (AP-Yonhap)|
Choi and Prodger were together for 12 international victories, including seven of Choi’s eight PGA Tour wins. Prodger also helped Hall of Fame golfer Nick Faldo win two majors, the 1987 Open and the 1989 Masters.
Choi, commonly known as K.J. Choi, is still seeking his first major championship and with just one top-10 finish at the Open over his career, Choi is hoping Prodger can lead him to a better result.
“The course is difficult. It’s long, windy and narrow,” the 44-year-old said. “On this course, the par-5s will be important. Whoever makes birdies and scores on these holes, they will do well. It can be difficult with the wind, and there are also many out of bounds areas.”
Choi began the 2014 season ranked 134th in the world, his lowest position in more than a decade, but has since climbed to 71st, the highest among Koreans on the PGA Tour.
He’s trying to get back inside the top 50 for the first time in four years and has shown some promise this year with a pair of second-place finishes on the PGA Tour.
Choi said he also hopes to play his way onto the International Team for the Presidents Cup in 2015, when the competition pitting the Americans against the non-European golfers will take place in South Korea. Choi has already been named a vice captain, but he said he’d like to showcase himself on the course before the home crowd.
“I would love to play in my hometown. There will be so many happy fans and spectators,” he said. “If I can get back into the world’s top 50, then I will play. I’m close to the top 50 and need a couple of top 10s, top threes to get there again.” (Yonhap)