Date: January 28, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Choi has Aussie runs on the board

Chella Choi hasn’t been to Adelaide, but she’s already confident of her chances in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

And the Korean world No. 35 has sufficient evidence to support her theory as she prepares to play The Grange Golf Club next month.

Choi, 25, has made substantial cheques in each of her four visits to play the national championship, including a tie for fourth last year at Royal Melbourne and finishing outright second at Victoria in 2014.

Throw in a T36 at Royal Canberra in 2013 and a T31 in her first look at Royal Melbourne in 2012, and it’s justifiable confidence for a woman who enjoyed her breakthrough LPGA Tour victory in the Marathon Classic last July.

“I’ve played in Australia the last four years and got … (some of my) best places there, so I like it,” the Florida-based Choi said with a laugh.

One of the key reasons behind Choi’s success in Australia is her willingness to adapt to the challenges thrown at her by new host clubs.

And that she doesn’t shirk at the different conditions Australia offers in comparison to American golf.

“The courses are difficult and every year change (to a new venue),” she said.

“But if you go every year, it’s more comfortable.”

Choi made an equal tournament-high 17 birdies at Royal Melbourne last year, winning a lot of new admirers for her attacking style of play.

“A lot of people come, watching the tournament … it’s exciting, people are nice and nice weather … I can’t wait to go again,” she said.

The ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open is tri-sanctioned by the LPGA, LET and ALPG tours and will be held on The Grange’s west course from February 18-21.

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