Aqaba: Dubai-born amateur Josh Hill, England’s Joshua Grenville-Wood and Sweden’s Gabriel Axell were in a three-way tie for the lead with rounds of six-under par 66 on the opening day of the $100,000 Journey To Jordan Tour Championship Monday.
Even as a strong wind blew the whole day at the Greg Norman-designed Ayla Golf Club, it could not stop the players from going low.
The 15-year-old Hill, who became the youngest winner of an OWGR-recognised event last month at the Al Ain Open, was among the lucky few who could play a few holes in dead calm morning conditions .
Hill kept hitting some great iron shots throughout the round in which he made seven birdies and just one three-putt bogey on the sixth.
Grenville-Wood took full advantage of the par-5s playing downwind, hitting massive tee shots and flicking wedges in for two eagles – on the ninth and 13th – on a bogey-free day.
And Axell, who lost in a play-off at the Ras Al Khaimah Open, continued his good form in a round that featured a hole-out with his second shot from 90 yards for an eagle on the par-4 15th hole, apart from five birdies and a solitary bogey.
Sweden’s Henric Sturehed, the 2017 Tour Championship winner, and the Abu Dhabi-based Luke Joy, a multiple winner on the Tour, were tied for the fourth place at 67.
“I was lucky with the wind for the first four holes, and then it picked up. It was strong and from a different direction. But I played pretty solid and kept hitting some very good iron shots. Most of my birdies were from inside 10 feet. Just that three-putt on sixth was the only bad part of a good day,” said Hill, who has been nominated for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award following his record-breaking Al Ain win.