News & ToursJuly 22, 2015

Report: Two-time tour winner Sang-Moon Bae loses court battle, to return to South Korea

Sang-Moon Bae had dreams of representing the Presidents Cup team, as the 2015 matches will be held in his home country of South Korea. But it appears that Bae will be in the country serving in the military rather than representing it on one of golf's biggest stages.

As part of a requirement for South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35, a court ruled this week that Bae must serve the required two years in the army. Bae was able to stay in the United States, where he was living in Dallas since last April, while his lawsuit against the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) was being decided.

According to the Reuters report, a court in his home city of Daegu ruled against Bae on Wednesday.

"I am sorry to those who have supported me, including all my fans and South Koreans, for causing anxiety," Bae told Yonhap news agency. "I completely respect the court's decision, and I humbly accept the judgment by the law."

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Bae had won this season's opening event -- the Open -- in addition to the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship in his four full seasons on the PGA Tour. Bae was 27th in FedEx Cup points this season and has earned more than $2 million in 2014-'15.

In an interview with Golf Digest before the Players Championship, Bae talked about how he held out hope that Korean court would rule in his favor:

"It's a sensitive subject to me. Nothing's changed right now, but I'm trying to find out. We're taking legal action and we'll find out in two months. That's a really sensitive thing in Korea. Obviously we're still at war, between the North and the South. And I know how all Korean guys have to serve. There's no doubt about that. And me too some day. But I have a green card, as a permanent resident of the United States. So that's why I believe I can extend it to stay in the U.S. for now. I'm 28 years old and I hope to extend it for some time. That's my opinion. But the Korean government has denied it. I don't know what it's going to play out. Hopefully. I really want to keep playing."

This year's Presidents Cup is at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon City, where Bae has won the KPGA Shinhan Donghae Open the last two years.

"I'd love to play there, because I really, really like the course," he had said in May.

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