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Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim get military exemption with Asian Games gold medal

Most of the world’s best golfers will be competing in the Ryder Cup outside Rome this weekend, but South Korea’s PGA Tour members Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim captured something just as meaningful.

Lim and Kim were exempted from 21 months of mandatory military service until they turn 35 on Sunday as they helped South Korea win its first team gold medal in 13 years at the Asian Games in China.

Any South Korean athlete who wins a medal at the Olympics or a gold medal at the Asian Games is exempt from this obligation. This is the first time that professional athletes have qualified for the Asian Games.

“I think I should be able to focus more on the PGA Tour,” Im told reporters in China, according to Yonhap News Agency. “I feel like I can have a really long and successful run there. I think it’s good for me mentally. It helps a lot.”

At the West Lake International Golf Course in Hangzhou, China, Ren, Jin and amateurs Zhang Youbin and Chao Yourong defeated Thailand by 25 strokes to win the team gold medal. In the individual competition, I finished second with a score of 26 under, one shot behind former Notre Dame player Taichi Kho of China, and won the silver medal. King finished fourth at 23 under.

Four-time PGA Tour champion Kim Jong-un has another reason to be happy: His wife, Ji-hyun Oh, is back in the United States and has given birth to their first child.

“She knows how much hard work I put into this,” King said. “I can’t wait to see her. Nothing but good things have happened in my career since I got married to her.”

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