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Schaper and Hill out to contend at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Schaper and Hill out to contend at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Amateurs Jayden Schaper and Joshua Hill insist they are aiming for the big prize at the 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Jayden Trey Schaper

The pair will tee off in a stellar field at Emirates Golf Club after making their first strides on the European Tour this season.

South African Schaper made a big impression by finishing in a tie for sixth at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg in January - just his second event on the European Tour.

The 19-year-old posted four under par rounds at Randpark Golf Club to finish 13 under par and believes that performance can give him the confidence to contend this week.

"Getting a top ten in the South African Open is a pretty nice achievement. To give myself an opportunity over the weekend to get the win is pretty cool," Schaper said.

"To come off that great experience playing an event like that, I'll approach this week the same. There shouldn't be too much difference between tournaments.

"Basically, everyone wants to come out and go for the win. Obviously that's what you want to do.

"But I mean, I'm just going to take it one step at a time, one shot at a time and one hole at a time and I'm just going to take it as it comes.

Basically, everyone wants to come out and go for the win. Obviously that's what you want to do

"I will just try and enjoy the experience overall. Yesterday was my first day here. Just went out and played the front nine to get a look and a feel of what the course has to offer, and yeah, I think it suits my game pretty well."

Hill is coming off the back of a remarkable 2019 where the 15-year-old became the youngest male player to win an Official World Golf Ranking event with victory at the Al Ain Open on the Mena Tour.

He made his debut on the European Tour at last week's Abu Dhabi Championship presented by EGA but missed the cut and finished in a tie for 117th after opening rounds of 74 and 76.

Joshua Hill

Prior to that event, Hill made headlines by beating World Number One Brooks Koepka in a nine-hole friendly and the Englishman believes he would be selling himself short by not aiming to compete at the top of the leaderboard.

"I think if you don't aim to win, you're preparing to fail. Aim for the win and just go out there and have fun and see where that leaves you," Hill said.

"I missed a lot of fairways in Abu Dhabi, which you can't do around there. If you do, you can't score well around there.

"I just put a new shaft and driver, so hopefully that will improve it. I played nine holes yesterday and it did, so hopefully keeps going that way."

Hill also admits he is learning to adapt to the increased media attention around him.

"I think you've got to learn to cope with it. You always get media," he added.

"You've got to fit it around your practice which is a good lesson to learn, but I don't mind it. Just do it and then go out and do what you need to do on the golf course."