New Al Ain Open champion Josh Hill is presented with his trophies by Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club’s Tom Buchanan. Photo; Joy Chakravarty/MENA Tour.
By Kent Gray
Six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo and former Masters champion Danny Willett have led the tributes after Josh Hill wrote himself into golf’s history books on Wednesday.
Willett, the DP World Tour Championship’s defending champion and former Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion took to Twitter not long after Hill had eclipsed Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa as the youngest winner of an Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) event at the MENA Tour’s Al Ain Open on Wednesday.
— Danny Willett (@Danny_Willett) October 23, 2019
After Hill’s earlier win in the Faldo Series Middle East Championship, also at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, a response from six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo duly followed.
Great playing Josh…what’s next for you? ?️♂️⛳️ https://t.co/vw40vNWJeW
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) October 23, 2019
— MENA Tour (@theMENATour) October 23, 2019
Respected Scotland golf journalist Martin Dempster was also quick to trumpet Hill’s achievement on the very same day as the Royal and Ancient game is debating the place of juniors in the game in the U.K.
Great achievement by young Josh…and even better that it has been delivered on a day when there is a debate in the UK about whether juniors should be allowed to play in adult competitions!!! https://t.co/QCT1w3Qhi4
— Martin Dempster (@DempsterMartin) October 23, 2019
The news also spread to the United States where Former Butch Harmon School of Golf Dubai Director of Instruction Justin Parsons hailed Hill’s feat and the contribution his now Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy coaches have played in it.
Josh Hill winning on the MENA Tour with a closing 62 at Al Ain. A talented young player being guided by Joe Marshall and Allister Parlane at the Claude Harmon III Golf Performance Center at Dubai Sports City. Great… https://t.co/JFKqPw6sg0
— Justin Parsons (@JParsonsGolf) October 23, 2019
They were even talking about it in Northern Ireland.
what’s the saying
If you’re good enough
You’re old enough? https://t.co/ZdkUK5zFkW
— The NI Golf Channel (@NIGolfChannel) October 23, 2019
Delighted to present this young man with his winning trophy today. Fantastic round of golf. https://t.co/aWXw4tY9Co
— Tom Buchanan (@tompro66) October 23, 2019
There was a classy message later from English professional Harry Ellis who was left to contemplate his second runner-up finish in as many MENA Tour starts.
Strong October so far. Back to back runner ups on the @theMENATour. 1 bogey in 54 holes this week. Not bad.
Many congrats to Josh today. 15 years old and producing a final round 62 ???? pic.twitter.com/it1T7roXoN
— Harry Ellis (@HarryEllisGolf) October 23, 2019