American golf fans’ petition to get Hosung Choi a spot in the Waste Management Phoenix Open the last week of January has not been granted by the Thunderbirds who run the event, but it didn’t go unnoticed.
The 45-year-old South Korean viral sensation will be teeing it up on American soil the following week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“I never imagined this day would come,” Choi said, according to ChoSun.com. “I took up golf at the age of 25, after a hard life. I’m fully aware that none of this would be possible without the love and support of my fans. I will of course do my best, wherever I go.”
Choi became an internet phenomenon in summer 2018 thanks to his play at the Korean Open. The golf-obsessed minds of Web.com Tour players Tee-k Kelly and Ryan Ruffels brought Choi’s theatrics to the masses, where he has gained instant notoriety.
Now, ranked 198th in the world following a win at the Japan Golf Tour’s Casio World Open in November, Choi’s agent’s U.S. liaison did some reach-out work to get his client some more starts in America.
Steve John, the CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and AT&T Pebble Beach tournament director, took the request to the tournament committee, and Choi’s request was granted unanimously.
“His swing is pretty awesome — it’s going to be a fun story,” John told The San Francisco Chronicle. “You think about what Bing Crosby started in 1937 (with this event), and it was about getting together with Hollywood friends and having a good time.
“This guy has a good time playing golf. It’s a good fit for our tournament.”
While Choi’s eligibility for “the greatest show on grass” is still up in the air, his American fans can rest assured that their man will be competing against the best players in the world soon enough.