Dubai resident Josh Hill made UAE golf history by making the cut for the second successive week on the DP World Tour in the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic held over the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club.
Hill, 17, is the only player — UAE national or expatriate — born in the UAE to make a cut in a European Tour event. And now he has doubled up seven days after his achievement at Yas Links in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
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Hill did not have the greatest of starts with bogies on holes 1, 3 and 5, and he admitted as much after his round. “I struggled today, he said. “I managed a birdie on seven with a chip in to get me back on track. I hit the perfect drive on nine, leaving me just 150 yards out. We then made a misjudgement as the wind gusted and caught the ball and dropped it short in the water, leaving me hurting a little. We marked the score down as a double-bogey six. After my front nine of 38 I was a bit down, but my caddie Pete lifted my spirits on the long walk from the ninth green to the 10th tee.”
Hill gathered himself to birdie the 10th.
“I was hitting greens on the back nine, but the pins were trickier and greens firmer than yesterday’s first round,” he said, “I was left with so many 40ft putts and it was tough to two putt, rather than easily three putt. I grinded the back nine out to finish my second round in 74.”
Hill made the cut, which fell at one-over, with Josh in tied 49th on even-par after rounds of 70 and 74.
On finishing his round Hill informed the gathered media that he was going to take lunch and hit some balls on the range trying to recover the rhythm and control of his first round.
“I am very proud of how I scored today and dealt with both this week and last week,” he said. “As I have previously explained I had no targets and just played one shot at a time. This is my philosophy and is working for me, so why change anything?”
Josh will play on Saturday in the third round in a 8.35am group along with Maverick Antcliff of Australia and Dane Rasmus Hojgaard.