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Bae returns to PGA Tour after military duty

Sangmoon Bae made his long-awaited return to PGA Tour action after taking a two-year hiatus from golf while serving military duty.

Bea stepped out for play the first round of the Safeway Open, posting a one-over 73 at Silverado Country Club to sit eight strokes back from the early lead. It was his first appearance on the PGA Tour since the 2015 Presidents Cup.

The 31-year-old stepped away from professional golf to complete his mandatory stint in the South Korean military, a requirement for all able-bodied men aged between 18 and 35 years of age.

Bae, spending his time as a rifleman in the army, finally returned to action last month with a missed cut at the Asian Tour's Donghae Open in his homeland.

The two-time PGA Tour winner is under guaranteed exempt status for the 2017-18 campaign, following his victory in this week's season-opening event in 2014.

The Korean sank a 28-foot birdie on the opening hole in California, but carded four consecutive bogeys from the third, before making significant gains at the 12th and 18th.

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