English teen wonderkid Josh Hill is playing the weekend of a Rolex Series for the second consecutive week on the DP World Tour after rounds of 70 and 74 to sit at even par through 36 holes. The 17-year-old, who became the youngest ever winner of an Official World Golf Ranking-sanctioned event in 2019 at the age of 15, sits in 49th position thanks to eight birdies over the first two days at Emirates GC.
Hill, born and raised in Dubai, placed T58th in Abu Dhabi last week where he posted a score of three-over-par to finish two clear of World No.2 Collin Morikawa. His stand-out third round in Abu Dhabi contained six birdies and an eagle and he still shot three-under-par despite two late double bogeys.
“I get asked a lot about turning professional, but there’s no rush, especially with some great offers to go to the States on the table," Hill said after Abu Dhabi. "I’ll talk it over with my family and decide what comes next, but for now I just want to enjoy the opportunities I’ve been given.
“I qualified for the Abu Dhabi Championship by winning the Abu Dhabi Amateur, and I’ve also got invites to play the Dubai Desert Classic, and the Saudi Arabia Invitational. And having made the cut once, I want more of the same. This was huge for my confidence, and in terms of showing that my game is good enough to compete at this level. It really was a case of moving up to another level.
“The thing I was really pleased with was that I didn’t just ease off and pat myself on the back after earning the right to play the final 36 holes. I made six birdies and an eagle to shoot 69 in the third round straight after finishing off the second round, and if I hadn’t made a couple of double bogeys by being over-aggressive it would have been even better.
"It was disappointing to finish with a 75, especially as I bogeyed three of the last four this time. But it was still a great week, and even though I was aiming for better than a share of 58th I still managed to finish a couple of shots in front of Collin Morikawa. That’s not bad, is it?”
The amateur sensation, born and raised in Dubai, won the Al Ain Open on the Mena Tour aged 15 years 8 months, two months younger than Ryo Ishikawa when he won on the Japan Tour in 2007. Hill also defeated then-World No.1 Brooks Koepka over nine holes prior to the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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