|K.J. Choi of South Korea waves as he carries the winner's trophy after beating David Toms of the U.S. in a sudden death playoff to win The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida May 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Hans Deryk)
South Korean K.J. Choi has pledged to donate $200,000 of his earnings from his victory at last week’s Players Championship to help tornado relief in the southeastern United States.
“When I heard the news about the tornadoes, not far after the Japan tsunami disaster, I knew I had to do something help them as well,” Choi said in a statement released by the PGA Tour on Wednesday.
“While winning the Players Championship was a defining point in my life, there were those who were going through their low point. I want the victims of the tornadoes to know that their misfortunes will not be ignored.”
Choi, 40, earned a total of $1.71 million after clinching his eighth PGA Tour title in a playoff with American David Toms for golf’s unofficial “fifth major” at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on Sunday.
The South Korean has previously made donations of $100,000 apiece through his K.J. Choi Foundation to help victims of the Japanese tsunami and the earthquake in Haiti.
More than 300 people were killed by destructive twisters last month in one of the United States’ worst ever tornado disasters.
Alabama was the hardest hit of seven states blasted by tornadoes and storms with 210 people losing their lives there in the worst U.S. natural catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.