KJ Choi gets it going about six holes too late

Jay Busbee

For about 66 holes, K.J. Choi was right there in the mix at Augusta, hanging around, lurking just a stroke or two behind Phil Mickelson. A break here, a flub there, and Choi is your Masters winner. But bogeys on 13 and 14 on Sunday afternoon killed the day for Choi. Still, he finished tied for fourth and took home a $330,000 check, so it was a fairly decent weekend for him.

He carried the momentum from Augusta right on over to Hilton Head, and owned a two-shot lead after the first day at the Verizon Heritage. It's part of a roll for Choi, who finished second at the Transitions a couple weeks back and has hung around the top 20 of almost every tournament he's played this year. His 69.25 scoring average is second on the Tour only to Anthony Kim. And considering how well he's been playing of late, you've got to figure he's a favorite heading into the weekend.

Now, Choi's a good and decent fellow and a fine golfer. Though if he'd managed to clamber his way to a win at the Masters, let's be honest — it'd be a letdown of epic proportions, wouldn't it? Like "Lost"-is-all-a-dream letdown. Still, he's one of that contingent of Mickelson-Els-Stricker golfers, guys who are getting better as they get older, and I'm thinking he'll get his chance at a major before long.