Si Woo Kim and Sungjae Im have to win a medal in the course of the golf competitors on the Tokyo Olympics to keep away from having to place their careers on maintain and endure navy service in South Korea
By Ali Stafford
Final Up to date: 28/07/21 3:31pm
Successful an Olympic medal could be among the many profession highlights for any sportsman, though it will maintain even better significance for 2 of the golfers in motion in Tokyo.
Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim are representing South Korea within the males’s competitors this week at Kasumigaseki Nation Membership, the place profitable a medal would keep away from them having to place their PGA Tour careers on maintain.
Navy service stays obligatory for able-bodied South Korean males, starting earlier than they flip 28, with an Olympic medal one of many only a few accomplishments thought of by the federal government to “improve nationwide status” and make an athlete exempt.
Im, 23, could but get one other alternative for Olympic success if he was to qualify for the 2024 video games in Paris, though for Kim – aged 26 – this week’s competitors offers one final probability to gather a medal in time to keep away from a 20-month stint of navy service.
Kim has a win at The Gamers – sometimes called golf’s “fifth main” – amongst his three PGA Tour titles, whereas Im completed runner-up to Dustin Johnson at The Masters final November and loved a PGA Tour victory final season on the Honda Basic. Regardless of their achievements on the highest stage, neither has achieved sufficient to keep away from conscription.
Each gamers took the choice to skip The Open, the ultimate males’s main of the yr, earlier this month to focus totally on the Olympics, figuring out that something apart from a top-three end in Tokyo would have career-changing penalties.
Aside from an Olympic medal, the one means for an athlete to keep away from the total navy service is by profitable a gold medal within the Asian Video games, as Tottenham star Heung-Min Son did in the course of the 2018 contest.
Solely novice golfers compete within the Asian Video games, ruling out that possibility for Im and Kim, with former Presidents Cup participant Ok.T Kim and present Korn Ferry Tour golfer Whee Kim among the many earlier winners of the person competitors.
PGA Tour: The Reduce
August 4, 2021, 9:00pm
2019 AT&T Byron Nelson champion Sung Kang was a part of the Korean facet that received the group occasion in Doha in 2006, whereas KH Lee – a winner on the PGA Tour this season – was within the group that triumphed in Guangzhou 4 years later.
Others have accomplished their service a lot earlier of their careers, with eight-time PGA Tour winner KJ Choi fulfilling his navy duties earlier than turning skilled and YE Yang – nonetheless the one Korean male main champion – enlisted in 1993 whereas nonetheless an novice.
The PGA Tour does assist golfers who need to endure their navy obligations by providing an exemption to return after finishing their service, with a “Obligatory Obligation” class permitting golfers to retain the enjoying rights they maintain on the time of conscription.
Two-time PGA Tour winner Sangmoon Bae underwent his service after the 2015 Presidents Cup and was in a position to return to motion at the beginning of the 2017-18 season, whereas Seung-Yul Noh, winner of the 2014 Zurich Basic of New Orleans, got here again in 2020 after taking a two-year hiatus to finish his navy duties.
Bae and Noh have each struggled since their return to the skilled recreation, falling to outdoors the world’s prime 800 having beforehand been within the recreation’s prime 100, with a two-season break from aggressive motion one thing that Im and Kim will probably be determined to keep away from.
https://www.skysports.com/golf/information/12040/12365492/tokyo-olympics-sungjae-im-and-si-woo-kim-looking-to-avoid-military-service-by-winning-a-medal | Tokyo Olympics: Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim seeking to keep away from navy service by profitable a medal | Golf Information