SUTTON COLDFIELD, England — A 40-foot eagle putt sparked a stunning finish from New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier as he won the British Masters on Sunday and secured his place in the British Open.
Hillier’s first European tour title was delivered in spectacular fashion when he carded a 6-under 66 in the final round at The Belfry. His winning total of 10 under par saw him finish 2 shots ahead of England’s Oliver Wilson and American Gunner Wiebe.
“I’m gobsmacked. I think it’s going to take me a while to process, to be honest,” Hillier said after starting 3 shots off a six-way tie for the lead. “Early on in the day I was not feeling it at all. I was a little bit uncomfortable with the driver, didn’t have many chances but obviously knew there were some chances coming in.
“I didn’t think I would take them that well, but obviously pretty ecstatic.”
As well as his eagle on the par-5 15th, Hillier made birdie from a fairway bunker on the 16th and had another eagle with a 6-foot putt on the par-5 17th.
“I’m not going to lie, I was definitely looking at the leaderboard and seeing my name up there and thinking about what it would be like to finish it off, but it’s all a bit of a blur, really,” Hillier said. “It’s going to be a pretty awesome experience playing the Open again, so I can’t wait.”
The British Open starts on July 20 at Royal Liverpool. Wilson and Wiebe also qualified for the tournament.
Wiebe, who is ranked 1,349th, had set the early clubhouse target after carding an eagle, seven birdies and a triple bogey in his closing 66.
Wilson (71) birdied the 18th to take the final Open spot.