N.Y. Choi cards 68 in return from back injury


Na Yeon Choi made a promising return to tournament play Thursday at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in her South Korean homeland.

Choi, making her first start in 10 weeks after recovering from a back injury, opened the tournament with a 4-under-par 68, leaving her tied for ninth place.

“I was excited and nervous at the same time,” Choi told Yonhap News Agency after her round. “I've been off the tour for so long that I don't really have high expectations for myself this week. I just want to keep playing my own game and accept whatever score I have at the end.”

Choi told LPGA.com earlier this week that her back began bothering her during a rain delay at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at the end of June and just kept getting worse. She won that Walmart event, her second LPGA title this year. She also won the season-opening Coates Golf Championship. After posting a pair of pain-filled 76s on the weekend at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the start of August, Choi left the tour to rest and rehab. She went eight weeks without touching a club.

Choi’s nine LPGA titles include the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open and two KEB Hana Bank Championships (2009-10).