Chella Choi Wins Marathon Classic
Chella Choi had served notice that her moment was at hand. There was that 64 during the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open that included a championship-record 29 on the front nine.
On Sunday, Choi picked up her long-desired first career win at the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I.
Choi, who will turn 25 next month, who was making her 157th career start in this her sixth LPGA season, parred the first extra hole to edge Ha Na Jang after the two finished regulation play at Highland Meadows Golf Club near Toledo at 14-under par 270 at 14-under par 270. Lydia Ko and Shanshan Feng finished one stroke out of the playoff.
Choi opened on Thursday with a 73 that put her well back in the back but closed with rounds of 66-65-66
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Like first win is really long time, seven years, so, so exciting and really, really happy. It’s dream come true. It’s exciting.”
Choi has come close in the past. She’s recorded three second-place finishes in her career, most recently in Australia in 2014. She also recorded runner-up finishes in 2012 and’13.
Any win would be special, particularly after seven years of trying, but Choi’s victory was particularly meaningful. Her father, a former police officer, has been on her bag throughout her career. The two had an agreement that he would continue to caddy for her until she won.
“I work with my father eight years, one year Symetra Tour and seven year LPGA Tour,” she said, “but my father want to retire like before seven years.
“I want work with my father first win, so I try, Okay, try one more tournament and one more tournament.”
Choi’s father will stay on the job for at least her next two starts; he already has his airline tickets.