Cape Town – World No 1 Brooks Koepka is keen to add a Rolex Series title to his already impressive CV, as he makes his comeback from a knee injury at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
The four-time Major winner returns to Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the third time – having secured a top-ten finish at the venue two years ago – for the first of eight Rolex Series events on the 2020 Race to Dubai.
“These Rolex Series events are where 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 best events you can and win them,” said Koepka.
The American is competing for the first time in three months, after withdrawing from the Presidents Cup squad to have knee surgery, and he is joined in the field by compatriots Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay.
DeChambeau is also targeting a maiden Rolex Series victory this week, and he has form in the desert after capturing his first European Tour win in Dubai last season.
“Every tournament I play in, I still go in with the mind-set that I’m going to win and do my absolute best to win,” said DeChambeau.
“Playing globally, being a part of global golf, is definitely on my list. I want to be able to say that I can win worldwide, which I’ve done. Now I won last year in Dubai. I want to win multiple times, and I also want to grow the game globally.”
Meanwhile, world No 6 Patrick Cantlay is competing in his first European Tour event outside of the Majors and World Golf Championships, and he is also keen to build his reputation as a global player with victory in Abu Dhabi.
““I think it’s important to play all over the world, not only just for growing-the-game purposes, but I think it’s good as a golfer to see different places and get comfortable playing all over. I think that’s part of it,” said Cantlay.
This week’s event sees the European Tour’s new tougher regulations aimed at tackling slow play come into effect including a key revision to the four-point plan previously announced in August.
Players will be now be given an immediate one shot penalty for two ‘bad times’ in a tournament rather than for two ‘bad times’ within a round.
– European Tour