Price hopes Bae comes good ahead of Presidents Cup

Tue Aug 4, 2015 10:33pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Golfer Bae Sang-moon's form plunged over the last few months after South Korea's military ordered him to fulfill his national service obligations, but Internationals skipper Nick Price hopes he can turn it around in time for the Presidents Cup.

Bae, who has won twice on the PGA Tour and was granted U.S. residency in 2013, was charged in February with violating national service laws after failing to return home when his overseas travel permit expired.

The 29-year-old had hoped the courts would allow him to delay his military service and continue his career on the lucrative U.S. tour but last month the military's case was upheld and Bae accepted the ruling.

With the country still technically at war with the North after the 1950-53 Korean War, all South Korean men between 18 and 35 must complete two years of military service.

The uncertainty clearly affected Bae's form.

He missed eight cuts in 18 PGA Tour events since February, dropping outside the top 100 in the world and to 25th in the standings for the biennial Presidents Cup clash between the United States and an International team minus Europe.

He also suffered a back injury which forced him to withdraw from an event in Texas in March.

With only the top 10 qualifying automatically for Price's team, the Zimbabwean will have to weigh up using one of his two captain's picks on Bae.

That decision takes on an extra dimension given the Presidents Cup will be held in South Korea this October, the first time in Asia.   Continued...

Jul 24, 2015; Oakville, Ontario, CAN; Sang-moon Bae (South Korea) tees off on the tenth tee box in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports