Hillier Nominated for Emerging Talent Award at 55th Halberg Awards

Wellington’s Daniel Hillier has been nominated for the Emerging Talent award in the 55th addition of the Halberg Awards.

Hillier’s many recent efforts in the game of golf have been recognised, led by his history making effort after becoming the first player to win two New Zealand Amateur titles as a teenager.

Former Emerging Talent, three-time Halberg Sportswoman of the year and 2013 Supreme Halberg winner Lydia Ko was also nominated alongside long drive world champion Philis Meti in the Sportswoman of the year category.

This year’s Emerging Talent award received 13 nominations for junior athletes who have all been successful on the national and international stages and must be under the age of 20.

The 19-year-old who has just completed his year at the Toro Interprovincials representing Wellington was ecstatic about the nomination.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling, I didn’t really see this coming so I’m pretty ecstatic and it’s a very special feeling,” said Hillier.

“It’s been an awesome few years, playing round the world and seeing so many different places. This is the icing on the cake after a huge amount of hard work, so to be recognised like this is an honour.”

This is Hillier’s chance to follow in the footsteps of Ko who he has looked up to and loved watching throughout her career.

“Lydia is amazing and she’s obviously an idol for many people including myself. To have the possibility to repeat what she has done would be amazing, but it's also nice to just be recognised to start with.”

Featuring alongside Hillier is netballer Tiana Metuarau, freeskier Nico Porteous, footballer Anna Leat, Para swimmer Chris Arbuthnott and pole vaulter Olivia McTaggart. The 55th addition of the Halberg Awards will be held at Spark Arena on 8 February 2018.

Full list of award nominees here.

 Daniel Hillier’s standout performances: 

Hillier made history this year becoming the first player ever to win two New Zealand Amateur Championship titles whilst still a teenager. This is one of New Zealand’s oldest sporting trophies dating back to 1893. The format is also the most challenging. Not only do you have to qualify through 36 holes of stroke play, you then enter five rounds of knock-out golf to find your true champion.

9th at Junior World Cup 2017

Hillier was also leading Kiwi at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and finished in 6th. This brings together the best golfers in the Asia-Pacific with the prize being entry into the two biggest events in the world, The Masters & The Open.

He followed this up by beating all of our Kiwi professionals at the New South Wales Open in Australian finish as lead Kiwi in a tie for 14th. This was a field of the best professionals in Australasia so he was very comfortable in the environment. 

Hillier now has won two New Zealand Amateur Championships as mentioned to go with his two New Zealand Age Group Championships (U19 Stroke Play) 2015/16 and the Harewood Open (professional event) to become the youngest in history to win on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour. Hillier was also the leading amateur at the 2015 New Zealand Open in Queenstown and the Australia Juniors Champion in the same year which earnt him a ticket to the Emirates Australian Open.

Wellington Stroke Play champion by a remarkable 12-shots in 2017.

No.1 for Wellington’s winning Toro Interprovincial side 2016 and also Player of the Tournament.