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Bae (67) starts well at Heritage as legal battle continues

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Following a victory to start the season at the Open, his second on the PGA Tour, Sangmoon Bae’s attention should be on contending in majors or qualifying for this year’s Presidents Cup, which will be played in his native South Korea.

Instead, the 28-year-old is mired in a lawsuit he filed in January after the South Korean Military Manpower Association denied his request to extend his travel permit.

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Bae, who grabbed the early first-round lead at the RBC Heritage with a 4-under 67, requested an extension when his travel visa expired at the end of 2014. Because the request was denied, according to various reports he is required by law to return home within 30 days for conscription into the military.

“Nothing changed,” he said on Thursday when asked about the lawsuit. “Still waiting for legal action, the court situation. One or two months more need to wait.”

Bae is currently 17th on the International Presidents Cup point list. The matches will be played Oct. 8-11 in Incheon, South Korea.