At the beginning of October, LPGA Tour player and former Major winner, Na Yeon Choi, announced that she would officially retire from competition following the BMW Ladies Championship in her home country of South Korea. However, it’s unlikely that Choi thought she would sign off in quite some style.
The 34-year-old, who was playing her third round at Oak Valley Golf Club, had been one-under-par for her day as she approached the 12th hole, with Choi finding the bottom of the cup at the par 3 for a memorable moment in her final professional outing.
Not only did the ball find the hole for the rare feat, something which Choi, playing partners and caddies couldn’t see whilst they were stood on the tee box, but the South Korean also secured a new motor, with the hole-in-one prize being a BMW X7.
Following the conclusion of her third round, in which Choi carded a three-under-par 69, the 34-year-old said this about her ace: “I would like to describe that as a perfect shot because that went exactly as I had planned. It fell exactly where I wanted it to, and it rolled in exactly as I imagined it.
“After I hit it, when the ball was flying over, I got goosebumps. I was still skeptical, and then I knew it went in but I didn’t see the ball and I wanted to double check and I didn’t feel that I could show my emotions immediately. Then I checked, double-checked, and when I was sure, that’s when I got goosebumps all over my body, and I was really happy.
“Of course whenever you ace a hole, you’re ecstatic. But at the same time, for me, I think I got kind of emotional because it almost seemed like I was being rewarded for all those years of hard work.”
So, what are the plans for Choi after she retires from the game on Sunday. Well, the nine-time LPGA Tour winner wants “to continue” with her YouTube channel, where she has amassed over 250,000 subscribers.
“I’ve been at it for two years and I’ve really enjoyed kind of finding myself by doing the channel,” explained Choi. “I’m really confident, and I love doing it with the fans and the people, so I will continue that after I retire.
“But as to what I’m going to do other than that, nothing has been decided, specifically anyway. I have learned through doing my YouTube channel that I like to teach, so it might be something related like teaching people how to swing. It might have to do with the psychological or mental side of playing sports. I also want to study a bit, as well, and I also want to try out other sports, as well.
“I think in terms of golf, I’ll continue on with YouTube and, as you know in Korea, we have so many channels and so many outlets for golf broadcasting, and I’m interested in that, as well.”