Australian star Whitney Hillier is happy to return to Phoenix Gold after finishing third at the inaugural tournament in Pattaya last year. We caught up with Whitney, who loves being back in Thailand and is ready to get going this week …

You had a great result finishing third last season, what do you think was key to that performance?

It was definitely my short game and making sure I scrambled well, when needed. The greens were very grainy, quick and firm but they actually aren’t as firm this year so I think the scores will be a little lower for sure. There will be a few more birdie chances but it is still pretty tough out there.

What do you think of the Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club course?

It is beautiful and absolutely stunning. It really catches my eye and every single hole has been well designed, I really, really love it. The tees are setup really well this week, so we will have decent approach shots in and chances to attack.

The LET loves being back in Thailand, what do you love about the country?

It feels like a second home to me. I always feel comfortable here, the food is amazing and I can speak Thai to everyone which is a huge bonus. I have a great caddie for the week, who I had on the bag last year. I can speak Thai with her, talk through the shots and I am comfortable obviously trusting her as she is local and has great knowledge, which really helps me. I also have my Mum with me here this week and that is another bonus.

Have you got any plans away from the course?

I have already had a Thai massage but other than that not really, I am focusing on the golf. I have planned to stay a few days after the tournament and I am going to go and visit some of the temples in Bangkok with my Mum who is a Buddhist. I love experiencing what they do and being respectful of their culture, so I am looking forward to that.