Fifteen year old golfing sensation Josh Hill is geared up for the biggest week of his career as he makes his first European Tour start in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA which kicks off this Thursday (16th) in the capital.
The teenager, who will become the youngest player to feature in the event when he tees off at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, looked relaxed and composed on the driving range next to some of the biggest names in the game on the first practice day of the event until he found out he had the opportunity to play a practice round with none other than World Number 1 Brooks Koepka.
“I’m really excited to be playing with Koepka and see how he plays the game,” said Hill before he teed it up with the four-time Major winner. “It’s going to be a real experience playing with the world’s best and I will try and implement a few bits and pieces of his game to try and improve mine.”
As they were walking up the fairway on the first hole, where Koepka made birdie, the American was heard to say, “No way you’re 15!” due to the towering stature of last year’s MENA Tour Journey to Jordan amateur champion.
“Being here around all these world-class players is a lot better than I thought,” said Hill. “It’s really relaxing hitting balls next to them and looking at the shots they’re playing and trying to learn from them.
“I haven’t had much of a chance to speak to many of the players yet but Matt Wallace came over and congratulated me on my season which was a nice touch.” – Josh Hill
Hill’s one-stroke triumph over close friend Arjun Gupta at last month’s Abu Dhabi Amateur Championship secured his place in the Desert Swing opener alongside Major winners Koepka, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Louis Oosthuizen, and Martin Kaymer – to name but a few!
Despite playing with the biggest stars in planet golf and arriving at his first European Tour event as a World Record holder for being the youngest winner of an Official World Golf Ranking event, Hill insists he needs to treat the tournament like any other.
“I haven’t set any targets as I don’t want to put too much expectation on myself,” he says. “I’m just going to go out there on Thursday and play the best I can. If you prepare well then results will come so that’s my only mindset right now.
“My family will be coming down to cheer me on and my grandparents are in the UAE for the tournament so it’s going to be really nice to have them here and show them what I can do out on the golf course.”
Hill will also be appearing in next week’s OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic after earning his spot by finishing top in the MENA Tour’s Journey to Jordan amateur section.
With two weeks of golfing alongside the best players in the world ahead of him, Hill is in for the experience of a lifetime as he continues his rapid ascent in the game.