Golf PGA Tour golfer Bae Sang-moon set for military service

Bae Sang-moon has lost his legal battle against compulsory military service in South Korea.

  • Published:
play (Omni Sports)
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South Korean golfer Bae Sang-moon is to return to his homeland to complete military service after losing a legal battle against the Military Manpower Administration in Daegu.

The two-time winner on the PGA Tour gained United States residency in 2013 but was charged with violating South Korea's Military Service Act in February for his failure to return home following the expiration of his overseas travel permit.

Bae had earlier unsuccessfully requested an extension to the permit and, on Wednesday, a court ruled the 29-year-old did not have sufficient grounds to remain outside South Korea any longer.

"I'd like to apologise to my fans for causing them concerns," he is quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency. "I decided that I can mature further as a golfer by returning home as soon as I can and complete my mandatory military service."

Explaining the reasons for challenging his call-up, Bae added: "I felt this was a critical time for me as a young athlete to continue to compete on the US golf tour and I'd been doing the best I could to extend my stay, which was the legal and reasonable way.

"But the court's ruling today reminded me of the fact I should put my duty as a South Korean citizen ahead of my golfing career."

All able-bodied men aged between 18 and 35 are required to serve around two years in the South Korean armed forces.

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