KAWAGOE, Japan — They keep telling themselves the Olympics is no different from any other golf tournament because anything else would only make it harder on Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim.
It’s already tough to ignore the perks of winning a medal.
And if either of the South Koreans find themselves in the mix Sunday afternoon at Kasumigaseki Country Club, it will be impossible to ignore a brand of pressure that no other player in the 60-man field can appreciate.
An Olympic medal is their only ticket out of an 18-month mandatory military service.
“I know it’s true that if we earn a medal the Korean government will exempt us from serving military,” Kim said through an interpreter. “But I don’t really focus or think about the service