Calum Hill up to first reserve for start of new season in Abu Dhabi

A few days after he was photographed practising in the snow in Scotland, Calum Hill is close to getting the chance to start his 2021 season in the heat of Abu Dhabi this week.

Calum Hill practising in the snow last week at Gleneagles, where he is attached. He is now in Abu Dhabi and close to getting into this week's $8m Rolex Series event.

The 26-year-old is up to first reserve for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, an £$8 million Rolex Series event and the opening tournament of the new European Tour campaign.

Hill, who played in the event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the first time 12 months ago, is now in with a great chance of joining eight compatriots in a field, which also includes Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

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Taken at Gleneagles, where he has an attachment, the photograph of Hill practising in the snow last week was posted by his management company, Bounce Sport.

“BRRRRRR.....Nothing, but nothing, stops Calum Hill from getting his work done,” said a caption accompanying the photograph on social media.

Bob MacIntyre, Stephen Gallacher, David Law, Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson, David Drysdale, Grant Forrest and Marc Warren are the Scots already in this week’s event, which starts on Thursday.

After climbing four spots since the turn of the year without playing, MacIntyre has remained at 51st position in the latest updated world rankings, with Martin Laird up three places to 75th.

Kevin Na has leapt 15 spots to 23rd after the American claimed his fifth PGA Tour triumph with a one-shot victory in the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Na birdied the 72nd hole for a closing 65 and a 21-under-par 259 total, pipping compatriot Chris Kirk (65) and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann (66) in a thrilling battle for top spot in Honolulu.

“It feels great. It's great to get off to a good start this year,” said Na. “It's just all positives. But I'd like to win another one before the season's over.”

In his final start under a major medical extension, former Ryder Cup player Kirk earned enough FedExCup points to remain in that category for the remainder of the season.

It was the second week running that Niemann had narrowly missed out after losing to Harris English in a play-off in the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua the previous Sunday.

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