EDISON, N.J. – His clubs sat quietly by the first tee Tuesday-Friday at Plainfield Country Club. Little did Bae know that his solid play on Saturday would get him back into the headlines; not only about his golf game, but about the FedEx Playoffs, which will likely be the last competitive golf he will play for two years.
29-year-old Bae was born in South Korea, and turned professional in 2004. After years of successful golf in South Korea, he competed at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, where he secured his playing rights for the 2012 PGA Tour season.
Fast forward to 2013: Bae won his first PGA Tour event-the HP Byron Nelson Championship. A good year later in late 2014, his work visa expired, and Bae had never served his mandatory 2 years in the South Korean Military, which is required for all men between the ages of 18 and 35. He fought to stay in the U.S., and said he had residency here, but in July 2015, the courts ruled that Bae must fulfill his military requirement.
So here we are. It’s August 30th, the final round at the Barclays has begun, and Bae tees off at 2:00pm here at Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey.
A lot is on the line for him. If he wins, he moves up to number 7 in the Presidents Cup standing, which would assure him a spot on the International team. Where is the Presidents Cup being hosted this year? None other than South Korea. “I have a really tough situation right now, but I don’t think about it anymore, actually,” Bae said. “I have to go back. So that is a few weeks later. So I just want to play good golf this week, and really want to play Presidents Cup in my country.”
As hard as it may seem, Bae is here to just focus on a win, and hopes to be able to play in the Presidents Cup in the country that he is still proud to call his. He is currently tied for 1st with co-leader Jason Day, who will be fighting for his fourth win this season.