OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – Chella Choi will tee it up as co-leader in the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday, fortified with hard lessons about the scrutiny that comes playing on television.
She’s prepared for the million or more eyes that will survey her every move Sunday in the year’s second major in women’s golf.
Watching the intense debate over Lexi Thompson’s controversial penalty in this year’s first major hit home with Choi.
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Three years ago, Choi was involved in a similar rules controversy over how she marked her ball on a putting green at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. After a video review, the LPGA was poised to penalize Choi, based on a television viewer’s call complaining Choi had incorrectly returned her ball to its mark.
Choi’s violation, however, was more obvious on video than Thompson’s
Choi would have missed the cut by a shot in Canada with the penalty, but she withdrew in protest over the ruling.
Choi was asked how she felt listening to the debate over Thompson’s plight.
“I also found out that I mis-marked my ball after my play, after my round,” Choi said. “I felt very bad for Lexi as an athlete. But, also, that incident helped me realize, and helped me learn, that I need to play more as a model athlete and have more model behavior. And so I felt bad for Lexi as an athlete, but I also learned from that experience. And therefore, as an athlete, like I said earlier, such a lesson teaches us that we all need to conduct ourselves in more model behavior.’