ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – She’s an Olympian, a professional golfer, and a local hometown hero. Now, Gerina Piller is using her voice to inspire others that no matter what your background is, you can make it.
“I’m from Roswell, New Mexico, and yeah, obviously small town, you know, and never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be a golfer,” said Gerina Piller.
She’s one of only two players in LPGA history from New Mexico, and she just hit her tenth year with the tour.
“I started when I was 15, which is pretty late for professional golf standards. A lot of these girls started when they were 5, 4, 3…They were just basically born with a club in their hands,” Piller said.
Now, Piller, who went to Goddard High and played on scholarship for the University of Texas-El Paso, is about to get more national attention as she’s being featured in the LPGA’s latest “#Drive-on” campaign. The new ads began airing Thursday on Youtube and the Golf Channel.
“I started playing golf at 15. People started seeing potential and took a chance on me,” Pillar is heard saying in the video.
She talks about home, her family and her inspiration, along with the path she’s taken to get where she is today. Once told to never forget where she came from, Piller says it’s something she now lives by.
“I vowed to myself that no matter what, I was always gonna be from New Mexico and I’m very proud of that, and I am,” Piller said.
Piller also competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Much of her family still lives in New Mexico. She said she comes back every Thanksgiving to see them, and of course for the green chile.