Bae back in Korea for Presidents Cup and military service

Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:14am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Bae Sang-moon arrived home on Wednesday ahead of next week's Presidents Cup and the golfer told reporters he was keen to play a big role in the event before he downs clubs and picks up a rifle to begin mandatory military service.

The 29-year-old lost a legal battle earlier this year to defer his conscription after he was charged with violating South Korea's military service regulations.

Bae, who has won twice on the PGA Tour, failed to secure an extension to his overseas travel permit after the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) said he had not spent enough time out of South Korea in 2014 to qualify as an overseas resident.

He was allowed to stay in the United States while his legal challenge against that decision was pending but a court in his home city of Daegu backed the MMA in July and Bae immediately agreed to return and fulfill his obligations.

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.

Bae told reporters on Wednesday at Incheon Airport he was sorry for the controversy and was "glad to be back home".

"I will do my best before joining the military."

Bae failed to qualify automatically for the biennial United States v Internationals tournament but was one of Nick Price's two captain's picks.

The event will be staged in Asia for the first time from Oct. 8-11 at Incheon's Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, where Bae has already won twice on the domestic tour.   Continued...

Feb 19, 2015; Pacific Palisades, CA, USA; Sang-Moon Bae tees off on the second hole during the first round at Riviera Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports