Stuff.co.nz sports news article
Last updated 11:54, June 4 2019
Top New Zealand amateur Daniel Hillier has qualified for this month’s US Open.
The Wellington golfer’s place at his first major championship was confirmed on Monday (Tuesday NZ time) after his two-round score of eight-under par in section qualifying at Walton Heath in Surrey, England.
He finished tied eighth and inside the cut, the top 14, after shooting rounds of 70 and 66. It earned him his spot at the US Open starting next Thursday (Friday NZ time) at Pebble Beach in California.
It’s the same qualification route Michael Campbell took before he won the US Open in 2005, the last time a New Zealander took out a major in the men’s game.
Joining Hillier in California will be Ryan Fox, New Zealand’s leading men’s player in the professional ranks, after he shot rounds of 70 and 67 to come tied seventh on five-under at another qualifying section in Brookside, USA.
Michael Campbell was New Zealand’s last golfer to win a major in the men’s game, the US Open in 2005.
Danny Lee missed out after finishing the two-round event in Brookside tied 22nd after shooting 69 and 70 for three-under, just one shot outside the cut’s top 14.
Hillier was ranked the 19th best amateur in the world after a 17th-placed finish at the US Amateur Championships at Pebble Beach last August. His best ranking was 14th on February 14 and he was 23rd as of June 3.
He combined with Denzel Ieremia and Kerry Mountcastle in New Zealand’s team which came fourth at the World Amateur Team Championships in Ireland last August, while finishing tied third in the individual standings.