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PGA tour golfer forced to return to South Korea for mandatory two-year military service

29-year-old Sang-Moon Bae has racked up 5.2 million euro in career earnings to date.

Sang-Moon Bae
Sang-Moon Bae

PGA TOUR GOLFER Sang-Moon Bae is a two-time winner and has taken home 5.2 million euro in career earnings. But now he’s been told by a court that he must return to Korea to serve in the military. 

In South Korea, every “able-bodied” male between the ages of 18 and 35 must serve in the military for two years. Bae recently turned 29.

Bae had his request for an extension on his overseas travel permit rejected in December. When the permit expired at the end of 2014, Bae did not return to Korea and was charged with “violating the country’s military service regulations,” according to Reuters.

Bae had hoped to participate in next summer’s Olympics as Olympic medalists are exempt from military service. Now, not only will Bae lose millions in two years away from the PGA Tour, he may also lose the chance to compete for a medal and exemption from the one thing that will keep him out of the games.

Bae told the media that he will “humbly accept” the court’s ruling.

“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,” Bae said.

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