That’s because all able-bodied South Korean men must complete military service between the ages of 18 and 35 as the country is still technically at war with neighbor North Korea,
While exemptions are offered to athletes who medal at the Olympic Games or win gold at the Asian Games, significant achievements on the PGA Tour do not yet warrant an exception.
“I really wish I could have that benefit,” Kim, who is only the second South Korean after K.J. Choi to reign supreme at Sawgrass, told reporters through a translator Sunday.
“However, regardless of me winning this tournament I really have to go to the military service and I’ve already decided I’m going to go so I’m ready for that.”