Though she may be a 2022 LPGA Tour rookie, Hye-Jin Choi is no stranger to being in contention. Since her first LPGA Tour event in 2015, Choi has only missed three cuts in 26 events played. She’s recorded five total top-10 finishes, including two runner-up performances at the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the 2020 ISPS Handa Vic Open. Over on the KLPGA, she’s an 11-time champion, with two earned as an amateur in 2017. Fast forward to her third start ever as an official Tour Member, and Choi is right in the mix heading into the weekend at the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol in a tie for second at -9.
“I'm satisfied with play today, but like in last moment I was like -- I had some like nerves, like I miss some chances of like making birdies so I was a little like disappointed,” said Choi, who carded a second-round 68 thanks to a lone bogey and five birdies. “But after that I finished play well, so I'm very happy with my play today.”
The KLPGA 2019 leading money winner, Choi is adjusting nicely to the LPGA Tour. She started strong in her season debut at the Gainbridge LPGA, recording a T8 result, and followed it up with a tie for 15th at the LPGA Drive On Championship. Her 135 in Carlsbad is her new personal 36-hole record, besting her previous low by one stroke, recorded at the 2019 LOTTE Championship. Choi seems to be enjoying the ride of Aviara Golf Club, as she finds herself in the final grouping on Saturday alongside 2022 Rolex First-Time Winner Nanna Koerstz Maden and two-time major champion Lydia Ko.
“I'm kind of like little nervous, but then I'm very happy with like my like yesterday round and today round,” said Choi. “So I will do my best for the last rounds, and, yes.”