Fox's advice helping Hillier in NZ Open preparation - PGA of Australia

Fox’s advice helping Hillier in NZ Open preparation

Kiwi Daniel Hiller will enter the New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sports, starting on Thursday, with some advice from his country’s No.1 men’s golfer firmly in his mind.

While Ryan Fox is unable to be at Millbrook Resort as he commits to his first full year on the PGA TOUR, his influence remains strong with young New Zealanders such as Hillier, a winner on the DP World Tour for the first time in 2023 at the British Masters.

Fox’s tip to Hillier is simple and current for any week on tour – don’t change anything in his game to suit the golf course, no matter how spectacular the setting.

“There will be golf courses out there that suit me more than the others,” Hillier, the world No.150, said.

“I have played pretty well here in the past so if I play my game, and have a solid plan that I can trust and execute, hopefully you will see my name near the top of the leaderboard.”

In four starts on the DP World Tour in 2004, Hillier has made three cuts with a best finish of T23 at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

He was equal 12th in his home open last year, five shots behind the winner, Brendan Jones, after shooting four rounds in the 60s.

“My form has been OK. I haven’t played my best stuff for the first part of the year,” he said at today’s pre-tournament media conference.

“I know there is a long year ahead so I am not too fazed how the year has started. It would be nice for everything to click this week as it is obviously an exciting week ahead.

“The course is pure as always which is great. The rough is up a little bit but I did not spend much time in it today so hopefully I can keep that up.”

Hillier was part of an interesting practice group pairing on Tuesday, joining rookie Kazuma Kobori who has already claimed three Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia victories this year to lead the Order of Merit and have one hand on a 2024/25 DP World Tour card.

“He is really impressive to watch and you can see why he has done so well in Aussie this year,” Hillier said of his countryman.

“You can see he wants to get his hands on the trophy as well. I’m playing the first two rounds with him as well so we will be seeing a bit of each other.”

The star NZ duo will be on the Remarkables course on Thursday morning followed by the Coronet layout on Friday afternoon.

Photo: Daniel Hillier at the 2023 NZ Open presented by Sky Sports. Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

The only place to watch every upcoming event on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia live is on Fox Sports, available on Foxtel and Kayo.

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