Bae tied for lead at Barclays as military service looms

By Doug Ferguson ,AP

EDISON, New Jersey – -Ryan Palmer can’t imagine the emotions if he were to win The Barclays a week after his father died. Bae Sang-moon would love nothing more than to play in the Presidents Cup at home in South Korea before he starts his mandatory military service. Jason Day is one round away from being in the race for No. 1 in the world.

The FedEx Cup playoffs suddenly are about a lot more than a US$10 million bonus at the end.

Bae and Day traded birdies through the third round Saturday at Plainfield Country Club. Their best-ball score would have been 56. On their own, each had a 7-under 63 and were tied for the lead going at 11-under 199, one shot ahead of Bubba Watson (67).

Bae has to start his two-year military stint when he returns to South Korea. With a victory on Sunday, he would be assured a spot on the International team for the Presidents Cup, which is being held in his home country for the first time and will be the biggest golf event in South Korea.

“I have a really tough situation right now, but I don’t think about it anymore, actually,” he said. “I have to go back. So that is a few weeks later. So I just want to play good golf this week and really want to play Presidents Cup in my country.”

The emotion comes from Palmer, who hasn’t had a top 10 in the last three months. He is playing a week after his 71-year-old father died just north of Amarillo, Texas, when his SUV overturned. Palmer has found peaceful moments on the golf course, and while dropping two shots late in his round Saturday, he had a 65 and was two shots behind.

At times, Palmer caught himself wondering what it would mean to win with a family grieving at home.

“But then I just kind of come back saying, ‘OK, let’s just hit this shot, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves yet.’ I don’t know what it’s going to be like if it happens,” Palmer said after a 65. “I can’t put into words what it would mean for sure.”