Korean golfer Bae looks to fire again after army stint

Sangmoon Bae
Updated 13 September 2017
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Korean golfer Bae looks to fire again after army stint

SEOUL: Star South Korean golfer Sangmoon Bae has been trying to rediscover his feel for the game ahead of his long-awaited return this week following mandatory military service, he said Wednesday.
The two-time PGA Tour winner will make a comeback to the sport at the Asian Tour Shinhan Donghae Open, which tees off in Incheon on Thursday.
Bae played his last professional event in October 2015, when he represented the International Team at the Presidents Cup.
Military service is compulsory for all able-bodied South Korean males, and Bae was discharged last month after 21 months in uniform, an experience he said had helped improve his mental strength.
But he added: “It would be a lie if I said I don’t feel the impact from the vacuum of military service.”
He had put himself through a rigorous training routine to prepare for his competitive comeback, focusing on “enhancing my feeling for golf,” he told journalists.
Also a three-time Asian Tour winner, he said he felt “very happy while playing warm-up rounds,” but added: “I myself wonder how well I may fare this time.”
Asked what he wanted to do most while in the military he answered, to laughter: “From the day when I was a private second class, a private first class and even the last day of the service, I wanted to be discharged from the military.”
“I wanted to play in tournaments, I wanted to sleep at home and I wanted to drive,” he said.
Bae plans to return to the PGA Tour next month, which granted him a rare extension of his tour card.
The Shinhan Donghae Open will be packed with star players including top Japan Golf Tour prize winner Kim Chan and 2015 Japan Golf Tour top prize money winner Kim Kyung-Tae.
David Lipsky of the US will be playing in Korea for the first time in four years, and seeking to return to the top of the Order of Merit after being dislodged by Australia’s Scott Hend over the weekend.


World Cup boost for Egypt as Mohamed Salah "is ready to play against Russia"

Updated 18 June 2018
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World Cup boost for Egypt as Mohamed Salah "is ready to play against Russia"

  • Liverpool star took part in full training
  • Egypt team manager says Salah is poised to make his World Cup bow

ST PETERSBURG: Mohamed Salah is a looming obstacle as Russia attempt to virtually secure their place in the knockout stages of the World Cup in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
Fears that poor performances from the home side could dampen enthusiasm in the host nation were blown away by a 5-0 demolition of Saudi Arabia in the opening game.
The seven-time African champions will pose a much tougher task, but a lot will depend upon Salah's fitness.
Liverpool star Salah has not featured since leaving the field in tears early in the Champions League final just over three weeks ago after landing heavily on his left shoulder and had to watch from the bench as Egypt lost 1-0 to Uruguay in their opening game.
Salah has been declared 100 percent fit by Egypt's team doctor and his agent, leaving little doubt he will be thrown back into action in the Pharaohs' hour of need.
However, as he returned to training on Saturday, Salah was seen by AFP reporters at Egypt's training camp in Grozny needing help from teammates to lift a training top over his head.
"Salah participated in training with his teammates for the entire session and he is ready to play against Russia according to technical staff," Egypt's team manager Ihab Leheta told FIFA.com.
Egypt coach Hector Cuper's decision not to risk Salah against Uruguay may have been influenced by the fact his side held out for 89 minutes before conceding to Jose Gimenez, by which time the Argentine had made all three of his substitutions.
"Russia's game is fateful and difficult because of our defeat against Uruguay," said Leheta. "Winning is our only choice".
If fully fit, the sight of Salah, who scored 44 goals in a remarkable debut season at Liverpool, will strike fear into the Russians.
Concerns Russia could become just the second host nation to bow out of the World Cup at the group stage after a seven-game winless run ahead of the tournament have been alleviated by a perfect start.
With Uruguay favourites to top the group, though, Russia are keen not to have to rely on getting something from their final group game against the two-time former world champions.
"The second game will be our most important one in the group stage," said Russia's deputy prime minister and former football federation president Vitaly Mutko after attending Russia's training session on Sunday.
A close ally of President Vladimir Putin, Mutko oversaw preparations for the tournament at a cost of more than $13 billion.
"In the first match, everyone saw how much the players cared. If we play up to our level, I don't see any problems."
Denis Cheryshev was Russia's hero against Saudi Arabia as he came off the bench to score twice.
And the Villarreal winger accepted it will be a more "interesting" clash if Salah is fit.
"If he's not there, does that mean our task becomes easy? Not at all," he told FIFA.com "If he plays, it will be hard but more interesting. He's one of the best and you always want to compete with the best and win."
Russia will be without one of their key players, with Alan Dzagoev expected to miss the rest of the tournament with a hamstring injury.