“Two South Korean golfers will play these Olympics with everything to lose”

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With a depleted field, no spectators, a bland format, dicey forecast and an ultra-private venue forced into not discriminating against women, Tokyo’s Olympic golf isn’t exactly the center of international intrigue.

Si-Woo Kim and Sungjae Im will not agree.

They’re easily the most compelling story of the golf portion of the Games after skipping The Open in hopes of medaling. Their reward should they make the podium? Exemption from mandatory military service for any medal won.

Check out a very nice piece of research and writing by GolfDigest.com’s Daniel Rapaport, who explains why this is the case for Kim and Im, the history behind the policy and the unfortunate case of Sangmoon Bae after he had to quit a burgeoning career for two years of military service.

Golf Channel coverage of play begins Wednesday at 6:30 pm ET in the United States.