Bae Sang Moon is The Only South Korean Playing in President’s Cup
David Lee, Oct. 6, 2015, 9:02 a.m.
Bae Sang-moon, the only South Korean player in action at this week's Presidents Cup, said Tuesday he is anxious to get on the field with a close friend on the International Team. Bae will be making his Presidents Cup debut at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, the first Asian host of the biennial match play competition between American and non-European stars.
Speaking to reporters after practice Tuesday, Bae said he has long dreamed of trying to beat the United States on his home soil while playing alongside Danny Lee, a South Korean-born New Zealander and also a Presidents Cup rookie.
"A few months ago, I told Danny that we should go to South Korea together and beat the Americans," Bae said. "We first met in 2007 and became fast friends. We always root for each other and give each other advice." Bae hinted he'd love to be paired with Lee in the fourball round, adding, "I think it'd better to play with someone who plays a different style in foursomes, because we can then complement each other. I hope to be paired with a long hitter in foursomes."
Bae, who faces conscription after the Presidents Cup, declined to answer questions about his status, saying he has done a lot of that already and he wants to focus on the competition. Bae lost a legal battle against the local military manpower agency over the extension of his overseas travel permit, and has been charged with violating the local conscription law. He said the situation will only make his Presidents Cup debut at home more special.
"It's an honor just to be a part of this," Bae added. "And it'd be even a bigger honor if I can win points and help our team win. Golf is an individual sport, and it's nice to have a team event like this. I enjoy meeting with my teammates every day." Bae said the lopsided history of the competition -- the United States has won eight of the 10 so far, with a tie in 2003 -- doesn't add any extra pressure on his squad.
"We've lost so much that I think we've learned how to win," he added. "I am confident that we can do well." In making Bae one of his two picks, International captain Nick Price said he liked Bae's track record at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. Bae won a Korean tour event in 2013 and 2014 on the same course.
Though the track has undergone changes ahead of the Presidents Cup, Bae said he is taking "fond memories" into the Presidents Cup. "It won't be too difficult to hit the fairways off the tee, and I think it will come down to hitting good approaches and putting," he added. "I think I will be able to tell my teammates how some of the pins have changed over the past couple of years."