Sangmoon Bae entered into South Korean military service on Tuesday, starting a 21-month term.
The 29-year-old, two-time PGA Tour winner begins his conscripted term, required for all Korean men ages 18 to 35, months after losing a legal battle to maintain an exemption that kept him out of the armed forces. In December, the Korean military service declared Bae’s exemption no longer valid, saying Bae did not spend enough time outside of the country to maintain a waiver he had from service. Bae appealed, losing in court. He then said he would complete the required service.
Bae’s last appearance as a professional player before starting this term was in his home country in October during the Presidents Cup.
“I’ll be back on tour in 2017,” Bae told journalists before entering an army training camp in Chuncheon, according to AFP.
Most of South Korea’s army of 700,000 is made up of soldiers serving the compulsory term. South Korea technically remains at war with North Korea, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice.