Si Woo Kim to leave golf for military service

Newly crowned Players champion Kim to serve 21 months for military in South Korea.

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si woo kim to leave golf for military service

 

Si Woo Kim may have just announced his name on the world stage by winning the Players Championship, but that could be the last we'll hear from him in a while. 

Kim, who landed his second PGA Tour title with a commanding three-shot victory at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, became just the fourth player under the age off 22 to win on the circuit.

He also became the youngest player to win the tournament, considered by many as the "unofficial fifth major."

But hailing from South Korea, Kim is now expected to serve a minimum of 21 months for the country's military. 

"Regardless of me winning this tournament, I really have to go to the military service and I've already decided that I'm going to go, too. So I'm ready for that," said Kim.

Military services is mandatory for South Korean males between the ages of 18 and 35.

The country does hold exemptions for athletes but Kim, unfortunately, will not fall under the terms needed to avoid military service.

Fellow South Korean golfer Sang Moon Bae is currently serving in the military after a court ruled against his case to avoid conscription to continue playing on the PGA Tour.

Fellow South Korean golfer and two-time PGA Tour winner Bae Sang-Moon, 30, is currently serving in the military after a court ruled against his case to avoid conscription to continue playing on tour.

The likes of eight-time PGA tour winner KJ Choi and 2009 US PGA champion YE Yang completed their military stints before turning professional.

Kim has already pulled out of this week's Byron Nelson tournament after picking up a niggling back injury, just like Rory McIlroy.

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"On Saturday night at The Players, my back began to flare up," said Kim.

"On Sunday when I arrived, I received treatment from a physio on the putting green that helped me get through the round, and fortunately, win the tournament. Having dealt with that the last two days, I feel it is best for me to take precautionary measures to ensure I can play and compete fully healthy for the rest of the season."