Jay Choi finished the regular Japanese PGA Tour with a flourish shooting a bogie free final round 69 to finish in a tie for 27th place and move him up one spot to 17th on the season money list. Jay has made his rookie season a successful one by having 5 top 10 finishes and earnings of $505,953.00. Jay’s is 20th in scoring with an average of 71.10. His third round scoring average is 70.59 and his final round scoring average is 70.07. Jay’s 67.17% GIR is 7th on tour and he is 16th in driving distance with an average drive of 289.77 yards.
Jay’s journey to Japan started when he began playing golf when he was about 10 year’s old. Jay often tell’s young player’s that he couldn’t break 100 when he was 12 year’s old. Jay took lesson’s from Pearl Sin’s (former LPGA player) father and practiced at the Montebello Golf Course in Montebello, California. When Jay was 14 he met his current and long time coach George Pinnell at the Industry Hill’s Sheraton Resort in the City of Industry, California. George went out on the course and watched Jay and his friend Mike Rim for a few hole’s. Pinnell took an interest in Jay and talked with him after the round about his play and what he thought his future might be in golf. From that conversation, a coach/player relationship started and has developed in to a close friendship.
Jay played golf at Gahr High School in Cerrito’s, California. He played on the Southern California Junior PGA Tour where he found success and then moved to the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) where he again played well. College golf coaches began to take an interest in him and one in particular, Glen Millican of the University of New Mexico was very high on Jay and his potential. Coach Millican recruited Jay to play at UNM where Jay earned First Team Mountain Conference honors and later NCAA All-American honor’s as a senior. Jay graduated from UNM.
After graduation Jay played in the PGA Tour Qualifying School where he cruised through the first 2 stage’s with a cumulative score of -27. Unfortunately, he missed the 2nd stage cut and failed to make it into the final’s. Jay kicked around Southern California and New Mexico playing in mini tour event’s until he met a businessman who also took an interest in him and introduced him to another person in Japan who would help get Jay into the Japan PGA Tour Qualifying School. Jay took full advantage of this break by finishing 3rd in the final’s and earning a Japan PGA Tour Card.
Jay has adapted well to his life on the Japan Tour. He has learned to speak Japanese and does his interview’s in Japanese. Jay’s speaking Japanese along with his great personality has made him a favorite of the golf fan’s in Japan.
Following this week’s Tour Championship, Jay will return to California where he will rest and spend time with his family and friend’s before preparing for the 2011 season. Jay’s success is well deserved.