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Choi receives GWAA award for charitable work

K.J. Choi
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David Howell during the quarterfinal round of the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship held at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, on February 25, 2006.Photo by Sam Greenwood/  - 

K.J. Choi has been named the recipient of the 2013 Golf Writers Association of America’s Charlie Bartlett Award, given annually to the golfer who makes unselfish contributions for the betterment of society. Choi will be honored at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner on April 10 in Augusta, Ga. 

Choi, 42, founded the K.J. Choi Foundation in 2007 with the mission of helping children and communities achieve their dreams, but his reach has also extended to scholarships and global aid for hurricane and tsunami victims.

“Although I feel that I haven’t done that much, I am honored to be recognized for my actions,” Choi said in a release. “This is the first award of any sort that I have received during my 13-year career on the PGA Tour, and I feel that much more honored to be receiving an award for my charitable actions rather than my play.”

Choi became the first Korean player to play full-time on the PGA Tour and was the 2000 Rookie of the Year. When he won his third event, the 2005 Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, he donated $90,000 to a Korean Presbyterian church in Greensboro.

In 2009, he donated $90,000 to hurricane victims in the U.S., and after his 2011 win at The Players, he gave $200,000 to victims dealing with the fallout from a rash of deadly tornadoes. Later that year, he wrote a $100,000 check to victims of the tsunami that hit Japan.

Other recent recipients of this award include Notah Begay, Lorena Ochoa, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.