• July 4, 2022

Koepka to make return next week at Abu Dhabi

Brooks Koepka, the world No 1, will make his Hero Challenge debut in front of 5,000 fans in Abu Dhabi next week.

The American is set to join Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open champion Bernd Wiesberger in an event being held at the Yas Marina motor racing circuit on Tuesday in the build up to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, winner of a similar event at last year’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, has also been confirmed for the innovative shootout, which is being held for the first time in Abu Dhabi.

‘’The Hero Challenge will be a great way to start my first tournament week of the season and I’m looking forward to getting involved in the fun,” said Koepka, who is making his return following an injury.

“I’m a competitive guy when it comes to most things and I’m sure this will be no different once we get going, and it’s pretty cool to have the chance to play golf at such an iconic location like Yas Marina.

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“It’s a spectacular place, especially when you see it on TV with the Formula One cars racing around, so I am sure it will be a fun night in Abu Dhabi.”

Three more European Tour players will be confirmed for the event later this week.

Koepka won twice in 2019, capturing his fourth major title at the PGA Championship and also winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. After ending fourth at the Tour Championship, Koepka on Aug. 26 underwent a stem-cell procedure for a partially torn patella tendon.

The procedure was to relieve discomfort and strengthen the left knee that Koepka said had been bothering him since March. He returned in early October and pronounced himself fit at the Shriners tournament in Las Vegas, where he missed the cut.

Then, while defending his CJ Cup title in South Korea, Koepka slipped while walking on a concrete bridge during the second round and felt pain in his knee. He withdrew from the tournament and has not played since, missing the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Presidents Cup.

Steve Carr

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