Date: February 06, 2016
Author: Bradley Green

Hilliard stands up beside pros

Young Victorian amateur Alexandra Hilliard is excited to embrace the opportunity to grace the fairways over the weekend of a professional tournament.

The 16-year-old made the cut in her second appearance of the Women’s Oates Victorian Open after finishing at four-over par after the first two days of the 2016 tournament at Barwon Heads’ 13th Beach Golf Links.

After opening with a three-over 76, she carded five bogies and four bogies in her second round 74 to advance to the weekend.

How she fares in Saturday afternoon will determine if the Year 11 Haileybury College student is part of the final round action.

But for the girl who plays off a handicap of +1 at the Commonwealth Golf Club, the chance to showcase her talents in front of Saturday’s big crowds that have lined the fairways around the Beach course is a huge thrill.

“It feels great,” Hilliard said.

“It was a bit intimidating at the start, but I think I got settled in and played it like any other round.”

Hilliard pre-qualified on Monday with an even par round at Kooringal and had the support of parents Wes and Jo, younger sister Scarlett, grandfather John and cousin Matt – who’s been caddying for her – over the first two days.

When they found out Hilliard had survived through to the weekend, they hastily had to re-book accommodation.

“I was really excited,” Hilliard said of her reaction to learning she had survived the cut. “We went out for dinner to celebrate.”

Having been introduced to the game when she was four years old by her dad, Hilliard said her experience this week only has made her more determined to one day turn professional.

“That’s the goal,” Hilliard said. “I definitely want to play in more bigger tournaments and get some results.”