How far would you travel to see your favorite golfer? If your name is Brian Lee, the answer is 6,953 miles.
That’s how far it is from Seoul, South Korea, to Washington D.C. and how far Lee has journeyed to see K.J. Choi play the AT&T National.
Lee and seven of his associates at Shinhan Bank all took their wives on the 13.5 hour plane ride to spend four days following their countryman around the links at Congressional Country Club. They took off from Seoul Tuesday, stopped briefly in Dallas and landed in D.C. soon thereafter. Despite a bad case of jetlag, the Korean contingent hustled over the hills for all 18 of Choi’s opening-day rounds.
“I have to stay awake,” Lee, who speaks limited English, said. “Or else I miss the golf.”
Lee and his buddies had always wanted to go see Choi compete, but were wary of the time and travel costs. But after Choi won the AT&T National last summer, they decided it was worth it.
Nipping at Lee’s heels was 35-year-old Jae Kwon, who drove all the way from Newark, DE to see Choi. Kwan was born in Korea but has grown to love golf since moving to Newark 18 years ago. Kwon says he has followed Choi to many tournaments across the country and also likes to watch the LPGA Tour. Kwon’s loyalty paid off at last year’s AT&T, when Choi treated Kwon to dinner at an Annandale, Va. Korean restaurant.