English teenager Josh Hill can count Brooks Koepka among his growing number of fans after getting the better of the world number one in practice for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Hill created history in October by becoming the youngest male player to win an Official World Golf Ranking event after carding a final round of 62 to claim the Al Ain Open on the MENA Tour.
At the age of 15 years, six months and 27 days, Hill eclipsed the record held by Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, who was 15 years and eight months old when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup in May 2007.
That victory earned the Dubai-based Hill a place in next week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic and he went on to win the Abu Dhabi Amateur Championship in December to secure a European Tour debut this week.
“He beat me in an eight-hole match yesterday, which I’m sure he enjoyed, as he should,” four-time major winner Koepka told a pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.
“It’s cool. It’s always fun to get to play with these young kids, and you really see in 10 years – when I’m close to being on my way out – all these kids that will be up and winning a bunch. It will be cool to see in the next five, 10 years how much he progresses.
“He asked good questions. I thought that was important. I think being so young, if I was in his shoes, I would have been afraid to ask. He wasn’t afraid to ask, which I think is very important and very mature for his age.
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“He’s a good player. Putts it really well. Short game is really good. Strikes it really well.”
Hill is not content with simply enjoying the experience of mixing with the world’s best this week, telling BBC Sport: “You can’t aim low, you can’t just aim to make the cut. You’ve got to aim high.
“I mean a top 10 would be nice, but to be honest I’ve just got to go out there and play golf and see where that leaves me.”