Wednesday 21 March 2018

Danny Willett aiming to get "some rust out of the system" at Irish Open

Danny Willett has been in demand since winning the Masters last month
Danny Willett has been in demand since winning the Masters last month

Danny Willett admits he has had to learn to adjust to life as a Masters champion as he prepares for this week's Irish Open.

The 28-year-old Yorkshireman became the first European in 17 years to claim the green jacket at Augusta last month following a surprise meltdown from reigning champion Jordan Spieth around Amen Corner.

It was a victory that propelled Willett, who had become a dad for the first time just 12 days earlier, into the spotlight and he conceded he was unprepared for the demands that came with winning the first major of the season.

"I've just been busy," he said of the past month.

"There are a lot of commitments you've got to do on and off the golf course. No one really prepares you for that. You can't quite understand what guys like Rory (McIlroy) and Jordan go through until you experience it yourself.

"To actually realise time-management has taken a whole different role and really trying to get everything sectioned off and do things correctly. It's been a busy four weeks."

Willett's first focus post-Masters was on his parenting commitments but he eventually returned to the sport at last weekend's Players Championship at Sawgrass.

He failed to make the cut there following a second-round 73 and will be hoping to find form again at the Irish Open, which will be staged at The K Club, the venue for the Ryder Cup a decade ago.

Asked about his aims this weekend, Willett added: "(To) almost try to not really put too much expectation on doing anything particularly fantastic, just really trying to get some rust out of the system.

"I think I took three-and-a-half, four weeks off, which is the most I've taken off in five, six years. So (I'm) trying to get things back to where they were and just trying to enjoy it."

Press Association

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