Golf: Local hope Daniel Hillier enlists famous Kiwi caddie Steve Williams for NZ Open title bid

Two local young guns are hoping to add their name to the New Zealand Open trophy this week.

At 22 and 25 years old respectively, Kazuma Kobori and Daniel Hillier will enter the event as two of the hot favourites.

Whether it's winning tournaments or ditching the shaver, the fresh-faced prospects are finding ways to play beyond their years.

"I just figure I look like a 15-year-old without the moustache," Hillier joked.

Daniel Hillier shows off his moustache.
Daniel Hillier shows off his moustache. Photo credit: Photosport

Hillier is the top ranked golfer at this week's tournament at Queenstown's Millbrook.

Hoping to chase him down is his practice partner, Japan's Kazuma Kobori.

"I think I'm playing with [Hillier] this week as well, so really looking forward to that," Kobori said.

Kobori has made an emphatic start to his professional career. He's won three of his past five tournaments on the Australasia tour, but says he'd trade all three for a win this week.

"It would be probably the biggest accomplishment in my career so far," he added.

And soon he will be on to even bigger challenges. He's a shoe-in for a DP World Tour card in November, which is a tour Hillier has become well established on.

"The top 10 percent on any tour can compete anywhere," said Hillier. "Same with Aussie, and you see how well Kazuma's doing there.

"He'll have no trouble once he gets out to Europe, I think."

Experience in Europe isn't the only thing in Hillier's favour. On his bag this week will be Tiger Woods' former caddie Steve Williams.

"He just tells me what club to hit and where to hit it, and I do it," said Hillier.

All he needs now is just a bit of good fortune, which he hopes his moustache may help provide.

"It's not lucky so far, unfortunately," said Hillier. "Maybe this is the lucky week."

If he does lift the trophy, Hillier may be tempted to put the razor away forever.