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Games-PGA Tour winners Im, Kim to headline South Korea’s Asian Games golf team

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PGA Tour winners Im Sung-jae and Kim Si-woo will headline the South Korean men’s quarter at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September, the Korea Golf Association said.

The 2022 Games will be the first edition in which professional golfers are allowed to compete.

Im, 24, has two wins on the PGA Tour, claiming titles at the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas in October last year and The Honda Classic in March 2020. He is ranked 19th in the world.

Kim, 26, is a three-times winner on the PGA Tour, and is ranked 51st. The pair will be joined by amateurs Jang Yu-bin and Cho Yoo-young.

Along with a chance to win a medal, playing at the Asian Games will provide the golfers with an opportunity to avoid military service.

All able-bodied South Korean men must complete 21 months service in the military as a deterrent against North Korea, but exemptions are offered to athletes who win gold at the Asian Games or a medal of any colour at the Olympics.

The women’s team will be comprised entirely of amateurs – Bang Shin-sil, Kim Min-byeol and Jeong Ji-hyun – the top finishers in the Asian Games trials.

Golf has featured at every Asian Games since its introduction at New Delhi in 1982.

South Korea has won the most medals (35) in the sport, including 13 golds, but failed to finish on top of the podium at the 2018 Games.

The Asian Games will run from Sept. 10-25.



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