Choi donates World Cup winnings to typhoon relief


Two weeks after competing in the ISPS Handa World Cup in Australia, former Players champion K.J. Choi announced Wednesday that he has donated the $100,000 he won at the event to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Choi opened with a 4-under 67 at Royal Melbourne en route to a T-15 finish in the individual competition, and also teamed with fellow South Korean Sang-Moon Bae to finish 15th in the team competition. The 43-year-old made the donation through his charity, the K.J. Choi Foundation, to the American Red Cross, and the proceeds will go toward relief supplies and rebuilding infrastructure in some of the hardest-hit areas.

"I wanted to represent Korea in sharing the sentiment of my fellow countrymen to our friends in the Philippines," Choi said in a statement. "The Philippines and Korea maintain a very close relationship through cultural exchange, and I truly hope they are able to rebound, overcome the difficult times and get back to normalcy again."

A noted philanthropist, Choi received the 2013 Charlie Bartlett Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, which is given to a professional golfer for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society. He explained that he was especially moved by the plight of Jason Day, who won both the individual and team titles at the World Cup just days after losing several family members in the Philippines due to the storm.

"I felt bad," he added. "Despite his loss, it was very meaningful to see him overcome the pain of losing his family and stay focused during the tournament to come up with the win."