Sang Moon Bae
Born: June 21, 1986
Birthplace: Daegu, South Korea
Height: 6 ft 0 in
College: Daegu University
Turned Pro: 2004
In 2004, Sang Moon Bae turned professional and began playing primarily on the Korean Tour. He won his first tournament in 2006 at the Emerson Pacific Group Open. Bae continued to find success in Korea in the late 2000’s and then turned his sights on the Japanese Tour.
In 2011, Bae won three times in Japan and was also the tour’s leading money winner. Emboldened by his success in Japan, Bae decided to take a run at professional golf’s most lucrative tour –the PGA Tour. He traveled to the United States in late 2011 for the PGA’s Qualifying School Tournament. Bae played well and finished in 11th place, earning his card for the 2012 PGA season.
Bae had a fairly successful rookie season on tour. He made 17 of 25 cuts, finished in 71st place in the FedEx Cup ratings and retained full playing privileges for 2013.
Bae entered the PGA Tour winner’s circle in 2013 at the Byron Nelson Championship. Bae entered the final round one shot behind 3rd round leader Keegan Bradley. After a hot start, Bae stumbled in the middle of his round before rallying to defeat Bradley by two shots. The win made Bae just the 4th Korean to win on the PGA Tour.
In 2015, Bae was not granted an extension of his work visa, meaning he is expected to return to South Korea to complete his mandatory military service. If the decision stands, it’s a huge blow to Bae’s golf career. At 29, he is clearly in the prime of his career. The PGA has stated that they will explore possible options allowing Bae conditional status for when he would return from his obligations.