Choi delighted at Tiger pairing

South Korean golfer said he had premonition he would be with Woods at US Masters.

    Choi said he had a premonition that he would be paired with Woods [GALLO/GETTY]

    Some players would be worried about a pairing with Tiger Woods on his return to golf this week at the US Masters but KJ Choi said he welcomed the chance after being drawn to play with the world number one.

    The South Korean told a small group of reporters behind the 18th green after a practice round on Tuesday that an official told him at the 15th hole that he would be grouped with Woods.

    Choi, the leading Asian player of the last decade with seven US PGA Tour wins, said he had a premonition he would get to play with Woods.

    "I sort of had a feeling when I left Dallas to come here," former weightlifter Choi said.

    "I said to myself, 'It would be cool if I was paired with Tiger.' And it happened.

    "It's a good surprise."

    Choi and American Matt Kuchar will tee off with Woods at Augusta National in the year's first major and the first appearance by Woods in nearly five months since revelations of a string of marital infidelities.

    The crush of spectators that routinely follow Woods can be a distraction for playing partners in ordinary circumstances but the curiosity about how well he will do and the crowd's reaction to him promises to create even more of a spectacle.

    "I love to play with him. I've played with Tiger a few times. I'm not going to be bothered by the number of galleries there," Choi said through his interpreter Michael Yim.

    "I actually like playing with big crowds, so I think I'm going to be playing a little bit more aggressive and I'm looking forward to it.

    Tiger aura

    "For me, I'm used to playing with Tiger. When you play with Tiger there's a certain aura or atmosphere that's very different as opposed to when you play with other players.

    "I know what that feels like so I'm used to it and don't think it will bother me at all."

    Choi said he did not think fans would disrupt the golf by heckling Woods about his personal life.

    "To take what has happened outside the golf course and to bring it inside the golf course, I don't think that's right," he said.

    "I believe they are educated enough to respect the game of golf. Whatever happened with Tiger in the past is in the past.

    "He's trying to move forward. I think it will be okay."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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