The NSW State team captain has prevailed over local hope Caryn Khoo, taking the title on the 38th hole at Auckland’s Remeura Golf Club. The win is also the first time in 19 years that an Australian has taken the title across the Tasman.
The final was a thrilling affair, and Choi found herself fighting all the way. Three times during the 36-hole match she found herself three down, but her never say die attitude and some encouraging words from her caddie and boyfriend Josh Armstrong proved pivotal over the closing holes.
“I’m exhausted; I had to dig deep.”
“I would’ve lost ten and eight if it wasn’t for Josh,” Choi said after the match.
“I hadn’t been hitting it well all week, but was scrambling pretty well. My putting was letting me down.
“I had a couple of good chances. I didn’t take them and was getting frustrated, but he told me to be patient because I was playing fine.”
The tip certainly paid off, and patient she remained. When Choi managed to erase the third 3-hole lead her opponent held late in the contest, Choi knew her chance had arrived.
Coming to the last all square, Choi knew she was due for a change of luck with the putter.
“I hit a perfect shot into the 36th, and I holed like a 30 footer.
“It gave me some momentum right there.
Khoo holed a 12 footer to force the extra holes, but in Choi’s mind, the match was hers for the taking.
The pair traded pars on the 37th hole before Choi seized her chance
“I knew I could keep making pars, and then she bogeyed the 38th.”
The NZ Women’s Crown is Choi’s first national title, and it rounds out an impressive year where she tied for fourth place on the co-sanctioned ALPG/LET Tour Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville, and runner-up at the North & South Amateur in the US to eventual US Women’s Amateur Champion, Gabi Ruffels.
The win should also see Choi’s World Amateur Golf Ranking of 84 make a handy jump.
“It feels pretty good. I feel like I haven’t won anything in a while.”
Cheekily, she suggested it was even better to do it with her B game.
Yes, it was nice with my B game,” she grinned.
Round of 32: Choi Def Mimi Guo 5/4
Round of 16: Choi Def Angela Ju 7/6
Quarter Final: Choi Def Eunseo Choi 1 Up.
Semi Final: Choi Def Stephanie Kyriacou 4/3
Doey Choi (NSW) def Caryn Khoo (NZL) on the 38th.