Whitney Hillier

Australia’s Whitney Hillier was thrilled when two tournaments in her home country were back on the Ladies European Tour (LET) schedule for 2022.

Having last played in the country in 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world, the 31-year-old couldn’t wait to be able to play on Tour at home.

“It is so good to be back in Australia. Obviously, the LET was here before Covid-19. To be at home again and for the girls to come back to Australia is pretty special,” she said.

“I feel so proud to be able to show these girls my home country and half of them want to stay! I’m very proud of this country and being from Australia it would be nice to keep having these LET tournaments.”

Golf has been a sport that Hillier loved from the outset, first trying the game when she was seven years old despite her parents having never played.

And due to being left-handed, the youngster was given the choice of playing left-handed or right-handed and she chose to play right-handed.

“My parents don’t play at all! My dad is a bricklayer, and my mum is a chef, so I have no background in the sport,” said Hillier, who is originally from Geraldton.  

“At primary school, there was a newsletter and it said there were free lessons for girls. I wasn’t really playing any other sports at the time, so I thought I’d give it a try.

“It was the first three lessons for free and then you pay afterward and because I’m left-handed, they gave me left and right-handed golf clubs and for some reason I played with my right. There were 25 girls at those lessons, and I was the last one standing.”

Having moved to Perth at the age of 12, it wasn’t long after that Hillier knew she wanted to be a professional and make golf her full-time job.

She admits she lived and breathed golf when she was younger, and nothing has really changed as this year marks her 10th season on the LET.

“It was pretty early that I decided I wanted to play golf as a career,” she continued. “In high school, I knew I wanted to be pro. I loved golf and I was obsessed with it.

“I was part of Joondalup Country Club; I have been a member since I was 12 and I still am a member today. I lived on the golf course. Every day I would go to school and then go to golf. I lived and breathed golf and I still do, I guess.

“I’m a veteran now. It is pretty cool. It is my 10th season and obviously there have been ups and downs throughout the years, but you get that. I feel I’m peaking in my career, and it takes time, but it is so worth the wait.”

At last week’s Australian Women’s Classic – Bonville, Hillier had an excellent final round carding a 66 (-6) to climb up to T22.

The 2022 Women’s NSW Open takes place this week at Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club and the Aussie hopes to carry that momentum forward.

She added: “My second round wasn’t great last week, but that’s golf right! That six-under on the final day gave me good momentum and confidence coming into this week.

“Hopefully, the weather is okay. The course can handle it. It’s almost winter time but the European girls are used to this weather.”

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