Masters Tournament Leaderboard: K.J. Choi Serious Sleeper to Win Green Jacket

Seph AndersonCorrespondent IIIApril 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  K.J. Choi of Korea reacts after he hits a birdie on the second hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Masters veteran K.J. Choi shot a two-under 66 in Round 1 at the Masters, setting himself up as a serious sleeper to challenge for the green jacket this weekend.

I labeled Choi a sleeper for the 2013 Masters last week, and he's on track to prove me right.

Having played in 10 consecutive Masters, the world's No. 75-ranked golfer has two top-eight finishes in his last three trips to Augusta National. After Round 1 in 2013, Choi is primed for another solid run.

While the eight-time PGA Tour winner had only notched two top-25 finishes in eight events prior to last week's Valero Texas Open, the 42-year-old South Korean golfer finished in sixth place in the last event ahead of the Masters (Valero Texas Open).

From a statistical standpoint, Choi is nowhere near the top of the PGA Tour. Currently, he has a No. 43 all-around ranking on tour. However, the South Korean quietly goes about his business on the golf course.

In Round 1 of the Masters, he recorded six birdies to his four bogeys. Having only hit 10-of-18 greens Thursday, he still managed to find himself under par at the end of his round.

Currently in a tie for No. 10 (as of 12:30 p.m. ET) ahead of his 12:57 p.m. ET Round 2 tee time, with a few more hit fairways on Friday, Choi could find himself within striking distance of the lead heading into the weekend.

If the veteran golfer can shoot a couple under par in Round 2, he's got the experience and composure necessary to make a serious run at captuing his first green jacket Sunday afternoon.

Keep a close eye on Choi as he works his way around Augusta National on Friday.

He may not be a sleeper come Sunday.