The world’s leading player, Brooks Koepka, returns to competitive action this week as the European Tour heads into its Middle East swing, starting with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Koepka, who has raced to four Major titles, is playing in his third championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club but for the first time since a knee problem forced him to withdraw from a PGA Tour event in Korea last October.
‘When you have something you love and it’s taken away from you, I think it makes you appreciate it more and really enjoy being out here,’ said Koepka.
‘I miss competition. I’ve missed showing up to an event preparing for something, because I haven’t had anything to prepare for. When you have three months off, it’s not fun, I know that. But it makes me appreciate the game more every time and hopefully I don’t have any more of those situations.
‘In Korea I re-tore it and the kneecap had moved into the fat pad, which was excruciating. It’s a lot of pain. It’s not fun.’
The American is joined in the field by Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau but is only focused on getting himself over the line in the first Rolex Series event of the year.
‘It’s just a place I like coming to. I felt comfortable here and hopefully play well this week. These Rolex Series events are what you have more emphasis on winning. It’s what you want to win.
‘The players that are playing in this event are obviously really good: some of the best players in the world. That’s why I think everyone’s here.
‘You want to play in the top events. You want to play in the best events you can, and win them.’