Two years ago, Sang-Moon Bae turned in the best season of his professional career, winning theOpen, accumulating nearly $US2.6 million in earnings and competing for the International team at the Presidents Cup, held in his native South Korea. Unfortunately for Bae, his homeland requires all males aged 18 to 35 to complete a two-year military commitment. After losing a court battle seeking a wavier, Bae was forced to set aside the sport for service.
However, on Wednesday Bae officially completed his duty as a rifleman in the army, and is making his return to golf at next month’s Shinhan Donghae Open, an event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean PGA.
“Even though I didn’t get to play much, I grew to love golf even more,” the 31-year-old Bae said in a statement. He also mentioned he was able to keep in shape with weight-lifting and cardio workouts.
Though Bae and his team have not constructed a plan for the US PGA Tour, he will have full status for the 2017-’18 season through a Family Crisis and Major Medical exemption.
“I have a lot of work to do,” Bae said to Yonhap News. “I’ve been dying to play golf. I want to get some practice in and get into tournament golf. I’ve been dreaming of the moment when I find myself in contention for a title.”