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Opening 70 leaves Lowry six shots off the early pace in Abu Dhabi

Defending champion has five birdies in solid opening round.

Lowry is bidding for back-to-back wins in Abu Dhabi.
Lowry is bidding for back-to-back wins in Abu Dhabi.
Image: Kamran Jebreili

SHANE LOWRY BOUNCED back from an early double bogey to card a solid opening 70 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Lowry, who kicked off an unforgettable season with victory here last year, started with a birdie before taking a five at the par-three 12th, his third hole.

But he reeled off four more birdies and just one bogey to get into the clubhouse on two-under par.

The Clara native sits six shots off the early pace, set by Renato Paratore on eight-under par, with Brooks Koepka looming ominously on six-under after a bogey-free 66.

Jason Scrivener joins Koepka in a tie for second on six-under, while Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello are among a group of four in the clubhouse on five-under par.

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Niall Kelly

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