Round Up: Brooks Koepka to make Hero Challenge debut in Abu Dhabi

World No 1 Brooks Koepka
World No 1 Brooks Koepka
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Brooks Koepka, the world No 1, will make his Hero Challenge debut in front of 5,000 spectators 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.

“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.

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Former Scottish Amateur champion Sam Locke had a mixed bag in the opening round of the Palmares Classic on the Portugal Pro Golf Tour.

Locke, the 2018 Silver Medal winner in The Open at Carnoustie, made an eagle and four birdies but also had a triple-bogey 8 and two bogeys on his card.

That left him having to settle for a one-under-par 71, sitting 13th, as English pair Bradley Moore and George Bloor carded six-under 66s to set the pace along with home player Tomas Silva.

Craig Lawrie sits 21st after a two-over 74 with Scottish Par 3 champion Sean Lawrie going out in 44 as he had to settle for a seven-over 79 to lie 25th.

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China’s Li Haotong, a two-time European Tour winner, has joined the IMG stable of players. The 24-year-old moves to the company after a spell with Excel Sports.

“I am very happy to announce that I am joining the team at IMG,” said Haotong. “Both in China and as I’ve played around the world, I have been impressed by everything IMG does in golf.”