ATLANTA – Some view the PGA Tour’s finale as the end of a long road, but for Sangmoon Bae, who finished tied for 18th at the Tour Championship, it was the beginning of a much different journey.
The two-time Tour winner is scheduled to report for 21 months of mandatory military service next month in South Korea after he participates in the Presidents Cup.
“Really sad. I will miss these guys and this competition. I really like this Tour, and I will be back and stay patient and be strong,” he said on Sunday at East Lake.
Bae had requested an extension from the Military Manpower Administration of South Korea, but it was denied. He challenged the ruling in court, but that also was denied earlier this year.
South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 years must complete 21 months of military service because the country technically remains at war with North Korea.
“I’m not going to get mad, it’s just a mandatory thing to my country so I didn’t think about it being sad,” said Bae, who expects to be assigned his reporting date when he returns to South Korea this week.
The Tour recently adjusted its regulations to assure Bae would maintain his Tour status after he returns from his military service.