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January 13 2012

1:12 AM

Choi finds his comfort zone

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

HONOLULU -- K.J. Choi looked to his right, the Pacific Ocean just a few yards away, and smiled. It reminded him of his home in Wando, South Korea.

With one exception.

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Choi
"We don't have the coconuts," Choi said with a laugh.

No worries. Choi seems in his element playing golf at Waialae Country Club. He won the Sony Open in Hawaii here in 2008 and has two other top-10s. In Thursday's first round, he posted a 5-under 65 to put him firmly in the hunt going into Friday's second round.

Choi started slowly last week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions but picked up steam as the tournament progressed, tying for fifth after shooting an 8-under 65 in the final round.

"I sort of had to play catch-up, and mentally I guess that's where I was kind of frustrated," Choi said, "because I knew my body was good, but the feel for the shots wasn't really there.

"But as the week went by, it caught up and I had more comfort."

No doubt he's comfortable at this course.

"You just attack it the way you see it," Choi said, "and the wind, for me, I'm able to read the wind easier and I can control my iron shots better."

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