Daniel Hillier’s dream run at the US Amateur Championship has come to an end after being defeated 5&4 by a red-hot Davis Riley at Pebble Beach this morning.

The 20-year-old lost his round of 32 match against the American who was in fine form making five birdies in the opening 10 holes to end the Kiwis captivating run for the title.

Riley took an early 2-up lead after back-to-back birdies before Hillier closed the gap with a birdie at the fifth. But the American was unstoppable from there, winning four more holes to wrap things up with four holes remaining.

Hillier, who was looking to emulate Danny Lee's success at this event 10 years ago, will now turn his attention the World Amateur Team Championships as he looks to get his hands on the Eisenhower Trophy.

He will be joined by Denzel Ieremia and Kerry Mountcastle for a training camp at Iowa State University before heading to Dublin where one of our marque events will get underway at the start of September.


World Amateur Team Championships - IGF Golf

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New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier has avoided the top qualifier curse to win his first round match 3&2 over America’s Jacob Bergeron to progress into the round of 32 at the US Amateur Championship.

Hillier did things the hard way against Bergeron, who has been ranked as high as number 12 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), by dropping two holes early in the match before bouncing back to square things up at the halfway stage.

The 19-year-old then turned up the heat to win back-to-back holes on 12 and 13 to take charge of the contest before delivering the killer blow on 15 to all but end Bergeron’s campaign.

If Hillier was to win this week at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links he would earn exemption into three of the four major championships. The Masters Tournament, The US Open and The 148th Open Championship.

New Zealand’s number one amateur will now face another worthy opponent in Davis Riley from America who is currently ranked 24th on the WAGR, three places ahead of Hillier in 27th.

There is clearly a long way to go for the Kiwi who still requires five more match play victories if he is to follow in the footsteps of Danny Lee who won this championship 10 years ago in 2008.

This is the same amateur event that 14-time major champion Tiger Woods famously won three years in a row from 1994-96 to show the world what was about to come.

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Hillier will get the round of 32 underway with the first tee time of 8:00am local time (3:00am NZT)


New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier has continued his remarkable form at the US Amateur Championship to shoot a second round of two-under par
 70 and currently shares the lead after two rounds of qualifying and will now enter the match play stages as one of the favourites. 

If Hillier was to win this week he would earn exemption into all four major championships. The Masters Tournament, The PGA Championship, The US Open and The 148th Open Championship.

The 19-year-old is looking to replicate Danny Lee’s historic win at the same championship 10 years ago and to qualify at the top of the leaderboard (at this stage with golfers still on course) will ensure he has the best draw possible to achieve this.

This is the same amateur championship that Tiger Woods famously won three times in a row from 1994-96.

Played over two courses at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course, the match play stages will all be at Pebble Beach which is where Hillier had his first-round success by shooting four-under par.

After a challenging opening nine with three bogeys in a row, things looked to be going south for the Wellingtonian, before two opening birdies on his back nine (Spyglass front nine) followed by another hole-out eagle on the par four 392-yard fourth hole boosted him back into a share of the lead.

“It’s been really awesome over here in America and I’m really satisfied with how I have played over the last couple of days,” said a calm Hillier.

To make the final 64 players from a whopping field of 312 is an amazing feat on its own and he is well aware of the prizes at stake if he was to join Tiger Woods and Danny Lee in the history books, but he isn’t getting ahead of himself entering the first round of match play.

“It’s definitely a big carrot at the end of the week, but it’s one of those things you try put on the back-burner for as long as you can and just focus on what you have ahead of you, so I will be resting up tonight and getting ready for the first round tomorrow morning.

“Danny [Lee] has had an awesome career so far and it was obviously a decade ago when he won this, so it would be awesome to follow in his footsteps,” said Hillier.

The match play draw will be released later this afternoon. For more information visit the full leaderboard/USGA website.

Full Leaderboard




    1 Kobori, Kazuma 144.73
    2 Lee, Jang Hyun 126.40
    3 Hillier, Daniel 122.67
    4 Brown, Luke 109.87
    5 McLean, Matthew 109.40
    1 Khoo, Caryn 170.00
    2 Dryland, Brittney 137.87
    3 Lee, Jeong Hyun 123.84
    4 Lee, Roun 100.00
    4 Lim, Carmen 100.00