Sang-moon Bae will be leaving the PGA Tour to return home to South Korean to begin two years of military conscription after losing a legal appeal on Wednesday.
Bae, a two-time PGA Tour winner, had appealed charges that he was avoiding the military service required for South Korean men aged 18-35, saying he had met the conditions to remain exempt from the compulsory duty. However, a court ruled against Bae, who was permitted to remain in the United States while his appeal was heard, and his claims that he had spent enough time outside of the country for his professional golf career to earn the military reprieve.
He believed he was eligible for a three-year extension of his travel visa because he has been a permanent U.S. resident for more than a year and did not spend more than half the year or three consecutive months in South Korea in 2014.
In the wake of the ruling, the 29-year-old will return home.
“I completely respect the court’s decision, and I humbly accept the judgment by the law,” Bae told Yonhap News Agency. “I am sorry to those who have supported me, including all my fans and South Koreans, for causing anxiety.”
Bae made 21 PGA Tour starts this season, kicking off with his second career win at the Frys.com Open. He made his final start of the year at The Greenbrier Classic, where he finished T-54.