Normally when the stars leave early--Rose/Stenson and Fowler/Day in this case reports Jeff Babineau--we mourn for a tournament. Yet I've long hoped the revamped Zurich Classic would keep some big names around, but also weave in some surprises.
There is no grander or more fun than the Charlie Wi-K.J. Choi duo sitting two back heading into Saturday's foursomes. As Ryan Lavner notes for GolfChannel.com, LA resident and all-around great guy Wi is just "$338 shy of $10 million in career earnings" and now stands to cross that barrier.
The five-time PGA Tour runner up and winner of nine titles internationally is now teaching juniors in Monterey Park not because he lost his card, but because he called it quits.
Dave Shedloski of Golf World does a splendid job telling Wi's story of calling it a career and the effort he made to prep for Zurich after getting K.J.'s call.
When he began gearing up for the Zurich Classic, Wi hit balls for five to six hours a day. Having barely touched a club in 2017, he thought he’d be motivated.
“Instead, I realized, ‘Man, I don’t miss the grind.’
“Don’t get me wrong, being on the tour is fantastic, but there’s more to life than playing professional golf,” he added. “I always knew I never wanted to be one of those hangers on. I didn’t want to just keep doing it. If I say I’m done, I’m done.”
Except he’s not quite. Living in Los Angeles, Wi has begun teaching young players at Monterey Park, near downtown, at his eponymous Charlie Wi Academy. He finds it fulfilling. He sees kids with promise. He knows he can help them.