Wellington-born Hillier, 24, earned his DP World Tour card last year after finishing seventh in the Challenge Tour’s season rankings and is looking forward to coming home and having a shot at putting his name on the trophy.
“I’m really looking forward to playing on home soil again,” he said. “The New Zealand Open in Queenstown is always a great event, and I’ll be making sure I bring my best game with me.
“The Open is on my bucket list of events to win, and I’m hoping to make the most of the confidence that the last few years on the Challenge Tour and now the DP World Tour has given me.”
Hillier, who finished in a share of 46th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship over the weekend picking up just under €40,000, carded 18 birdies across his four rounds.
“Abu Dhabi was a great event to kick off 2023. There were definitely a few shots outs there that I’d like to take again, but there were a lot of positives to build on as well. I’m excited to give it another crack at the Dubai Desert Classic this week,” he said.
New Zealand Open Tournament Director Michael Glading was delighted to receive the text message from Hiller confirming his entry and is looking forward to seeing how he can attack the Millbrook course.
“We’ve been chatting with Dan for a little while, and fully understand (and appreciate) the lengthy travel involved for him to return to our event,” said Glading. “He is one of the brightest talents to come out of New Zealand and it’s a treat to have him back.”
Hillier enjoyed a very successful amateur career in which he won the New Zealand Amateur Championship in 2015 and 2017, as well as the Australian Boys’ Amateur in 2016.
Hillier has also won three times on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour on home soil, including the Charles Tour Order of Merit in 2020. He picked up 11 top ten finishes in the last two years on the Challenge Tour, including impressive wins at the 2021 Challenge Costa Brava and the 2022 Swiss Challenge.
The 102nd New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport will take place between March 2 – 5, 2023 at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown.