Monday 18 December 2017

Who is Danny Willett? Everything you need to know about the new Masters champion

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Last night's final round of the 2016 Masters was surprisingly riveting given that defending champion Jordan Spieth held a five-shot lead as he started his back nine.

However, a startling three hole stretch that started with two bogeys and finished with a quadruple bogey saw Spieth plummet down the leaderboard as 28-year-old Englishman Danny Willett held his nerve to win the green jacket with a final round of 67.

You could forgive casual fans for wondering where Willett came from. After all, he doesn't have the name recognition of Spieth, four-time major winner Rory McIlroy or world number one Jason Day.

But while he might not have enjoyed the same amount of success as the aforementioned trio, he is by no means a journeyman or a fluke winner. Although last night's victory was his maiden win on the PGA Tour, he has won four European Tour events and was ranked 12th in the world before the Masters - he is now ninth.

In fact, the Sheffield-born golfer performed so well in America last year - making the top 125 - he was awarded a PGA tour card for this season. However, Willett opted against uprooting his family and decided to turn down the offer of playing in America full-time.

The son of a vicar and a maths teacher actually almost missed the biggest victory of his career because of the birth of his own child. His wife's due date was originally meant to be on Masters Sunday but his son ended up arriving a bit earlier at the end of March.

Willett turned professional in 2008 and is considered a certainty to be a member of Europe's Ryder Cup team when they take on America this autumn. His previous best finish in a major was tied sixth at last year's Open Championship.

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