Bright's future in Canada?

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:44 PM ET

VANCOUVER - If not for the golf spikes and inside-the-ropes access, Matt Hill could be mistaken for a spectator this week at Shaughnessy Golf & Country.

Yet there was Hill during Tuesday's practice session at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open, swinging side-by-side on the driving range with fan favourite and Puma posterboy Rickie Fowler.

Just like old times.

"I played against him in college, and I've competed against him before," Hill said with a shrug. "I know I have played against some of these guys and had some good results in the past against them."

Hill, the latest bright spot from Bright's Grove, Ont., and a former standout at North Carolina State University, won the NCAA individual golf title in 2009, finishing three strokes better than the third-place Fowler.

Professional success, though, has come a bit quicker for the long-haired kid from California.

While Fowler has already banked US$4.7-million on the world's top tour, Hill will be shooting this week to survive his first cut in his fourth PGA Tour appearance.

In his first summer as a Canadian Tour regular, the 22-year-old is anxious to prove he belongs on the same greens as the biggest names in golf.

"I don't think too much has changed -- I'm just trying to get better at my game," Hill said. "You just try to give yourself the best opportunity. I feel like so far, I've gotten better at every level. Getting out here, I'm sure, takes some time, so you've just got to be patient with it.

"I haven't totally seen the results yet, but I'm sure it's going to come. I feel confident in myself and my game. Being patient is pretty important."


Videos

Photos