“I first want to congratulate David for his performance last week after what he went through,” Choi said Tuesday after a practice round at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. “I’m not surprised at all that David pulled it off.”
Choi became The Players’ champion when Toms missed a short par putt on the first extra hole at TPC Sawgrass less than two weeks ago. Choi didn’t play at Colonial last week, where Toms opened with consecutive rounds of 62s. Toms blew a seven-stroke lead in the third round, but came back for his 13th career Tour win that was his first since January 2006.
The 44-year-old Toms is taking a planned two-week break after playing four consecutive tournaments and isn’t playing the Nelson.
“It was that one shot, that one putt that David missed,” Choi said. “I don’t think he won last week by chance. I mean it was definitely due.”
Choi, who now lives in the Dallas area, returned Monday from South Korea, after the 41-year-old South Korean announced plans there for the K.J. Choi Invitational tournament in October.
The tournament is something he has wanted to do since first being invited by Jack Nicklaus to play at the Memorial in 1999. He remembers how impressed he was with how the Memorial was set up and also how local citizens and volunteers were part of the charitable event.
“Ever since then I thought to myself that if I ever had the opportunity to have a tournament on my own, this is what I want to emulate,” he said. “And I want to give back to the community by holding the tournament. I just want it to be a special event for the people.”