Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship R1

Koepka trails leaders Renato Paratore and Shaun Norris by two-shots

January 16-19
Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
$7,000,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4

Abu Dhabi HSBC R1 - Koepka trails leaders by 2 shots
Brooks Koepka plays from the 14th tee. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

World Number one Brooks Koepka posted a sensational bogey-free 66 in the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA to get his week off to a flying start.

Playing his first tournament since October 2019 due to injury, Koepka took the initiative on his first tournament hole with a birdie on the lengthy par five 10th before producing some thrilling golf to card five birdies in six holes between the 17th and 3rd to leave him two shots back from the clubhouse leaders.


The rounds of the day came from the joint leaders, Italian Renato Paratore and South African Shaun Norris, who both shot eight-under par. Paratore, who in 2015 became the first player in European Tour history to score a four on every hole at the Open de France, is looking for his second European Tour victory having won the Nordea Masters in 2017. Shaun Norris, who carded an impressive nine birdies on day one, is seeking his first European Tour win after an impressive season on the Japan Tour, where he won and had four runner up finishes.

Following the round, Koepka said: “It’s good to be back. I’ve really missed the competition and I’m pleased to have put a solid round together. I missed a few putts early if I really want to pick it apart but I’m happy with how I drove the ball. I controlled the ball flight and my distances really well and that’s what you have to do out here.”

On his brilliant start to the tournament, Paratore commented: “I started really well, holed some putts early which gave me great confidence and finished strongly down the stretch. My short game and iron play was also really strong so I’m pleased.”

Abu Dhabi HSBC R1 - Koepka trails leaders by 2 shots
Shaun Norris of South Africa tees off on the fifth. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Amongst the other strong performers from day one of the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA was European Tour veteran Sergio Garcia who navigated his way to first round 67 with typical panache. Defending champion, Shane Lowry, put together a steady round of two-under and will be looking to kick-forward on day two to close the gap on his playing partner, Brooks Koepka. Josh Hill, the 15-year old English sensation, lived up to his burgeoning reputation and recorded a respectable two-over par on debut in desert.

With six birdies to his name, Garcia stated: “I’m very pleased with my round, especially with my putting. I felt like I hit the ball quite well and drove the ball nicely for the most part. I’ve always enjoyed the desert where it feels like you can hit different kinds of shots. I’m happy to get my year off to a nice start.


Tickets for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA can be purchased here.


Read next

Harrington’s hellacious headache

19th Hole
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Renato Paratore
ITA
-8
64
T1
Shaun Norris
RSA
-8
64
T3
Brooks Koepka
USA
-6
66
T3
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-6
66
T5
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-5
67
T5
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-5
67
T5
Zach Murray
AUS
-5
67
T5
Zander Lombard
RSA
-5
67
T5
Kurt Kitayama
USA
-5
67
T5
Haotong Li
CHN
-5
67
T11
Raphael Jacquelin
FRA
-4
68
T11
Martin Kaymer
GER
-4
68
T11
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-4
68
T11
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-4
68
T11
Branden Grace
RSA
-4
68
T11
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-4
68
T11
Edoardo Molinari
ITA
-4
68
T18
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-3
69
T18
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-3
69
T18
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-3
69
T18
Scott Hend
AUS
-3
69
T18
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
-3
69
T18
Lucas Herbert
AUS
-3
69
T18
Haydn Porteous
RSA
-3
69
T18
Masahiro Kawamura
JPN
-3
69
T18
Thomas Detry
BEL
-3
69
T18
Yuxin Lin
CHN
-3
69
T18
Lee Westwood
ENG
-3
69
T18
Robert Rock
ENG
-3
69
T18
Justin Harding
RSA
-3
69
T18
Andrew Johnston
ENG
-3
69
T18
Richard Bland
ENG
-3
69
T33
Ross Fisher
ENG
-2
70
T33
Shane Lowry
IRL
-2
70
T33
Romain Langasque
FRA
-2
70
T33
Sebastian Heisele
GER
-2
70
T33
Victor Dubuisson
FRA
-2
70
T33
Adria Arnaus
ESP
-2
70
T33
David Drysdale
SCO
-2
70
T33
Victor Perez
FRA
-2
70
T33
David Law
SCO
-2
70
T33
David Howell
ENG
-2
70
T33
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
-2
70
T33
Thongchai Jaidee
THA
-2
70
T33
Joost Luiten
NED
-2
70
T33
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
-2
70
T33
Jack Singh-Brar
ENG
-2
70
T33
Soren Kjeldsen
DEN
-2
70
T33
Matthew Southgate
ENG
-2
70
T50
Oliver Fisher
ENG
-1
71
T50
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-1
71
T50
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-1
71
T50
Scott Jamieson
SCO
-1
71
T50
Francesco Laporta
ITA
-1
71
T50
Richard McEvoy
ENG
-1
71
T50
James Morrison
ENG
-1
71
T50
Thomas Bjorn
DEN
-1
71
T50
Brandon Stone
RSA
-1
71
T50
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
-1
71
T50
Jeung-Hun Wang
KOR
-1
71
T50
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
-1
71
T50
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
-1
71
T50
Danny Willett
ENG
-1
71
T50
Calum Hill
SCO
-1
71
T50
Jack Senior
ENG
-1
71
T50
Wade Ormsby
AUS
-1
71
T50
Richie Ramsay
SCO
-1
71
T50
Alexander Levy
FRA
-1
71
T50
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
-1
71
T50
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-1
71
T50
Paul Waring
ENG
-1
71
T72
Kalle Samooja
FIN
Par
72
T72
Ashley Chesters
ENG
Par
72
T72
Nacho Elvira
ESP
Par
72
T72
Sean Crocker
USA
Par
72
T72
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
Par
72
T72
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
Par
72
T72
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
Par
72
T72
George Coetzee
RSA
Par
72
T72
Roope Kakko
FIN
Par
72
T81
Jeff Winther
SWE
1
73
T81
Justin Walters
RSA
1
73
T81
Viktor Hovland
NOR
1
73
T81
Dean Burmester
RSA
1
73
T81
Gavin Green
MAS
1
73
T81
Chris Paisley
ENG
1
73
T81
Lorenzo Gagli
ITA
1
73
T81
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
1
73
T81
David Lipsky
USA
1
73
T81
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
1
73
T81
Matt Wallace
ENG
1
73
T81
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
1
73
T81
Ian Poulter
ENG
1
73
T81
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
1
73
T81
Steven Brown
ENG
1
73
T81
Sam Horsfield
ENG
1
73
T97
Adrian Meronk
POL
2
74
T97
Nino Bertasio
ITA
2
74
T97
Julien Guerrier
FRA
2
74
T97
Callum Shinkwin
ENG
2
74
T97
Jordan Smith
ENG
2
74
T97
Andrea Pavan
ITA
2
74
T97
Grant Forrest
SCO
2
74
T97
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
2
74
T97
Joshua Hill
ENG
2
74
T97
Matthias Schwab
AUT
2
74
T97
Richard Sterne
RSA
2
74
T97
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
2
74
T97
Ryan Fox
NZL
2
74
T110
David Horsey
ENG
3
75
T110
Fabrizio Zanotti
PAR
3
75
T110
Tom Lewis
ENG
3
75
T110
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
3
75
T110
Jamie Donaldson
WAL
3
75
T110
Sebastian Soederberg
SWE
3
75
T116
Padraig Harrington
IRL
4
76
T116
Oliver Wilson
ENG
4
76
T116
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
4
76
T116
Thomas Aiken
RSA
4
76
T116
Graeme Storm
ENG
4
76
T121
Robert Karlsson
SWE
5
77
T121
Rasmus Hoejgaard
DEN
5
77
T121
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
5
77
T121
Ashun Wu
CHI
5
77
T121
Marcus Armitage
ENG
5
77
T121
Alvaro Quiros
ESP
5
77
T127
Paul Lawrie
SCO
6
78
T127
Aaron Rai
ENG
6
78
129
Gaganjeet Bhullar
IND
7
79
130
Joachim B. Hansen
DEN
8
80
T131
Chris Wood
ENG
12
84
T131
Ahmed Skaik
UAE
12
84