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ABU DHABI HSBC CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY EGA
Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 16 Jan 2019 - 19 Jan 2019
Monday, 14 January 2019
Brooks Koepka  (Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka (Getty Images)
World Number Two Brooks Koepka spoke about his former European Tour and Challenge Tour days as he prepares to tee off at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

The American spent two years on the Challenge Tour in 2012 and 2013, where he racked up four victories in 20 events before graduating to the European Tour the following year.

Koepka claimed the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Youth and Sports crown in his debut season and has continued to improve ever since returning to his homeland, becoming the first player to defend the US Open Championship title in 29 years before adding the US PGA Championship to cap off a double Major Championship-winning campaign in 2018.

But he does not forget where it all started and he is relishing the chance to catch up with old friends at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

"It's obviously nice to be back," Koepka said. "I enjoy playing this golf course. 

"It's a fun place to be, a fun place to come back and kind of feels like I'm reliving those memories when I was on The European Tour and Challenge Tour being over here. 

I try to come over here as much as I can, and I enjoy playing over here. It's fun - Brooks Koepka

"It's always nice to bring those back.

"There's a lot of guys you don't get to see very often, and you made some great friendships over here when I was playing, and not getting to see them all the time isn't always fun. But when you come back and see everybody, it makes it feel a little bit more special."

Koepka admitted he preferred the lifestyle on the European Tour and opened up about his memories in the early stages of his professional golf career.

"A lot of them (memories) are off the golf course," he said. "I think a lot of them are just from travelling week-to-week. 

"The camaraderie over here is a bit different. I like it more, personally, than I do in the States. 

"It seems there's 30 or 40 guys on a flight, basically the whole flight is everybody, you know, players, caddies, things like that.

"Everyone's always laughing, joking. The attitude over here is a little different. The sense of humour over here is a little better... so it's quite fun.

"My favourite places that I've been over here: Crans I think is probably one of the most beautiful places. Prague and Sweden are pretty nice, too.

"I think that's what makes it so much fun in my career. I really enjoy that aspect of seeing different cultures, being a part of it."

The 28 year old also confirmed he will not be returning to the European Tour as a member, but insisted he will attempt to squeeze more events into his schedule when possible.

"I try to come over here as much as I can, and I enjoy playing over here. It's fun," Koepka added.

"The golf courses, some of them, like this place, I think suits me really well. I feel like this is kind of like a major championship golf course, the way it's set up, which will be fun."

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-18
2STERNE, RichardRSA18-17
3LUITEN, JoostNED18-15
4OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-14
5KJELDSEN, SørenDEN18-13
T6WARING, PaulENG18-12

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