Titleist & Footjoy Player Daniel Hillier produced a remarkable finish to secure his first DP World Tour title at the 2023 Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo. After a solid front nine with two birdies and a bogey, the New Zealander went on an incredible run on the back nine, carding eagle-birdie-eagle from the 15th hole to take a two-shot lead. Despite a nervy moment on the 18th, where he cleared the green but managed to save par with a clutch eight-foot putt, Hillier finished the tournament at ten under par.
Hillier had to wait for about an hour before his victory was confirmed, as the final group was still playing. American Gunner Wiebe and Englishman Oliver Wilson finished as his nearest competitors at eight under, and all three players secured their spots at the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Englishman Justin Rose and Scottish duo Calum Hill and Ewen Ferguson tied for fourth at seven under, with Danish golfer Niklas Nørgaard one stroke behind.
Starting the day three shots behind the leader, Hillier narrowly missed a long eagle putt at the third hole but settled for a tap-in birdie. He dropped a shot at the sixth after finding water but managed to limit the damage to a bogey. Hillier recovered with a birdie on the ninth and then parred the next five holes to stay off the pace.
However, everything changed dramatically on the 15th hole when Hillier drained a 40-foot eagle putt to move to seven under par. He followed it up with an impressive birdie on the 16th, courtesy of a superb fairway bunker shot. Hillier continued his momentum on the par-five 17th, hitting his second shot close and making another eagle. With a two-shot lead heading into the 18th, Hillier's second shot went over the green, but he managed to salvage par with a well-judged third shot and an eight-foot putt.
Reflecting on his victory, Hillier expressed his elation and admitted it would take time to process the final few holes. He was particularly pleased with his performance on the challenging 15th hole and acknowledged the fortunate breaks he received on the 16th and 17th. Hillier emphasized the importance of a solid stroke on the final putt and shared his comfort and confidence during that moment.
Being on the same trophy as his compatriot Bob Charles, who won the event in 1972, held significant meaning for Hillier, considering Charles as New Zealand's golfing hero. Hillier expressed his delight at being in such esteemed company.