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Koepka back on form on return from injury in Abu Dhabi

Top-ranked golfer Brooks Koepka was immediately back in strong form after returning from injury at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Thursday.

Koepka carded a bogey-free 6-under 66 to tie for third place, two shots behind the leading duo of Renato Paratore and Shaun Norris.

Koepka hadn't played since October after aggravating a knee injury when he slipped on wet cement at the CJ Cup in South Korea. However, he showed no sign of rust as he made six birdies.

Brooks Koepka from the U.S. plays a shot on the 16th hole during the first round one of the Abu Dhabi Championship golf tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP PhotoKamran Jebreili)

“The first day I picked up the club, same thing, felt like I hadn't left," Koepka said. “I've done it for years and years. You don't forget how to swing the golf club.”

Of his knee, he added: “It feels fine. It was a little sore last night, just did some treatment on it, that's expected.”

Koepka, who missed the Presidents Cup last month, is tied for third with Jason Scrivener.

Brooks Koepka from the U.S. plays a shot on the 14th fairway during the first round one of the Abu Dhabi Championship golf tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP PhotoKamran Jebreili)

Sergio Garcia is one of six golfers tied for fifth on 5 under.

Last year's Abu Dhabi champion, Shane Lowry, carded a 2 under 70.

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