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Dubai-born Hill hopes to stand tall at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Josh Hill qualified for the Rolex Series tournament at Yas Links when he won the Abu Dhabi Amateur Open Championship. — Supplied photo
Josh Hill qualified for the Rolex Series tournament at Yas Links when he won the Abu Dhabi Amateur Open Championship. — Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi - The tournament also features Emirati players Ahmed Al Musharrekh – the only UAE player to have turned professional – and Ahmed Skaik, the top Emirati amateur in the country



By Joy Chakravarty

Published: Wed 19 Jan 2022, 2:57 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Jan 2022, 2:58 PM

Josh Hill, the 17-year-old Guinness record holder amateur, born and brought up in Dubai, will tee off in his third DP World Tour start at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week.

Hill qualified for the Rolex Series tournament at Yas Links when he won the Abu Dhabi Amateur Open Championship, just like he did in 2020. That year, Hill also played at the Dubai Desert Classic by virtue of being the top amateur on the MENA Tour.

Hill wrote his name in the Guinness Book of World Records when he won the Al Ain Open on the MENA Tour on October 23, 2019. At 15 years, six months and 27 days, he eclipsed Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa win on the Japan Golf Tour’s Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of 15 years and eight months.

The strapping 6ft 3in tall Hill, who is now part of England Golf’s High Performance Squad, will tee off on Thursday at 8.50 am from the 10th tee alongside French maestro Victor Dubuisson and Scotland’s David Drysdale.

“I am really excited about this,” said Hill on the eve of the $8 million championship which features the cream of European golf, including the world No.2 Collin Morikawa.

“I am good to go. I had a couple of good practice rounds and I am now eager to go out there.

“I was playing really well before Christmas. Obviously, one win was here in Abu Dhabi to get into this field and then also one in Sharjah. I had a break over Christmas and then came back had some swing faults that I’ve tidied up since then working with my coach Rob Watts (also, England Golf coach). I feel good.”

A lot has changed over the past two years, but Hill thought two factors definitely made him a much better golfer to be able to compete against the quality field – he has gotten stronger and he has gotten wiser.

A perceptible change is the amount of muscles he has put on, a result of all the hard work in the gym with his osteopath father, Russell, over the pandemic.

“Two years ago, I was two years younger, and I had a different mentality. I was celebrity watching rather than getting on with my job. And I think that mentality has changed and it's probably changed for the better. I also think this is just a normal tournament and I'm just playing golf like I always am,” said Hill, a two-time champion of the Yas Links Men’s Open.

“I’ve been doing a lot of gym work with my dad and there has been a lot of muscle and weight gains. I think that has helped me. I don't think I’m hitting it longer, but I think I’m able to control the ball much better, which is obviously a big thing. Everything else has improved in my game as well.”

The tournament also features Emirati players Ahmed Al Musharrekh — the only UAE player to have turned professional — and Ahmed Skaik, the top Emirati amateur in the country.


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