The clamoring for Hosung Choi to play on the PGA Tour from fans doesn’t seem to be a sentiment echoed by those who are inside the ropes.
Following the announcement of the 45-year-old South Korean golfer’s inclusion into the field at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am in two weeks, some pros and caddies voiced their opinions on social media.
Among those willing to go on record against the viral sensation were PGA Tour caddie Kip Henley, Web.com Tour player Patrick Sullivan, and perhaps most surprising of all, Rory McIlroy.
Hate to be Ebenezer an I get its all about selling tickets but this guy deserves one because he flips around like he has to pee after every shot? There’s a hundred https://t.co/Nx7f82PLRq guys that would chew him up and spit him out. I got CH III vs Hosung So loud on all 7 starts https://t.co/qhstWy0m6y
— Kip Henley PGA loopr (@KipHenley) December 28, 2018
The sponsors are going to be disappointed when the realize that they’ve been duped and that the majority of golf fans outside the echo chamber have no idea who Hosung is….. https://t.co/bRZGXb3d8U
— Patrick Sullivan (@sullivangolf) January 15, 2019
Asked about what goes through his mind when he sees Choi swing a club, McIlroy wasn’t too impressed with the theatrics that Choi employs after contact.
“I mean, technically his swing is good if you watch it up until impact,” McIlroy said. “He’s technically got a pretty good swing, he’s obviously a pretty good player. Whether that means he should be taking a spot away from a PGA Tour player at a PGA Tour event, I’m not so sure. But it’s gained him a bit of notoriety and he’s a good player.
“I’m not sure a golf shot should mean that much to you that you’re doing that after you hit it, like it’s just trying a little too hard. You have to try hard at golf, but that’s taking it to an extreme.”
Rory does not seem to be the world’s biggest Hosung Choi fan! pic.twitter.com/CTRSKOWOvW
— Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) January 23, 2019
McIlroy has received some backlash for his comments, but this is far from the first time candid comments from McIlroy have caused a bit of a stir.
Choi’s inclusion in the event as a sponsor’s exemption reignites the conversation as to who should be given these invites: Tour pros not in the field or those from the outside that will bring more notoriety to the event.
For what’s worth, Choi doesn’t see himself as any sort of sideshow; the 200th-ranked player in the world takes his golf very seriously.
“At first when we looked at the replies from fans, a lot of them thought I was doing it on purpose to be funny,” Choi said. “But people realized, after I got some results, that I am serious and I am doing it to survive on the Tour and cope with the competition.”
McIlroy is in the field for the first time this week at the Farmers Insurance Open. He tees off at 1:30 p.m. EST alongside Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler.