DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — K.J. Choi figured the best way to learn to play golf was to study books by Jack Nicklaus and spend hours watching video of golf’s greatest champion. It was only fitting Choi celebrate the biggest victory of his career at the Memorial on Sunday with a handshake from Nicklaus that was as meaningful as the trophy.
Choi ran off four straight birdies on the front nine to take the lead, then finished with three clutch par saves from the bunkers and gallery to close with a 7-under 65, giving him a one-shot victory over Ryan Moore.
Rain that pounded Muirfield Village in the morning set up a shootout among a half-dozen players, all of them with a good chance to win until they either ran out of time, ran out of birdies or took themselves out of the tournament with untimely blunders.
Choi could have been on that list.
After a two-putt birdie on the 15th to reach 17 under, he saved par from the bunker on the 16th with a 7-foot putt, chipped out of the gallery to 15 feet and made that for par on the 17th, then blasted out of the sand on the final hole to 5 feet and made that one.