Hosung Choi and his unconventional swing leave Pebble Beach after earning respect

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Hosung Choi’s weeklong parade around Monterey Peninsula finished in bitter rain Saturday at Pebble Beach, the conclusion accompanied by a missed cut in the Crosby Clambake known officially as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Yet the 45-year-old from a small fishing village in South Korea, who took up golf when he was 25, couldn’t stop smiling as the waves crashed the craggy coastline. He had won the lottery, after all, and his first trip to American soil and his first start on the PGA Tour left a lasting impression not only for Choi but for those entertained by his affable personality, showmanship and outrageous follow-throughs full of twists and turns that have made him an internet sensation.

On the scenic stages of Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula’s Shore Course, Choi was the biggest star in a tournament filled with celebrities and some of the game’s best players, his festive galleries larger than those following Bill Murray, Wayne Gretzky, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth.

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“I definitely felt the love from my fans,” Choi said through an interpreter.

Choi returned the love. He…

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