Thursday 14 December 2017

Willett enters top 25 in world as English shine

Danny Willett is now within the world top 25
Danny Willett is now within the world top 25

James Corrigan

Danny Willett entered the world’s top 25 for the first time, after he led home an English one-two-three in the Omega European Masters.

Playing alongside his fellow Sheffield native, Matt Fitzpatrick, 20, who put up a spirited fight as he aimed for his first European Tour title, but his 66 for a 16-under total left him one shy of Willett, who fired a 65.

With Tyrrell Hatton, 23, shooting a 62 to finish a further shot away in third, this was an exciting day for England on the picturesque Crans-sur-Sierre fairways in Switzerland.

Along with Andy Sullivan, Tommy Fleetwood and Eddie Pepperell, the trio signal the arrival of a new English generation.

Willett, 27, added this title to the Nedbank Challenge he won earlier in the season. In March, he came third at the WGC Match Play in San Francisco and last week, he finished in a tie for sixth at the Open. This excellent run presents him with a genuine chance of landing the European Tour’s Order of Merit.

This first prize of €450,000 takes him to within €230,000 of Rory McIlroy. With the world No 1 uncertain to play in either the WGC Bridgestone Invitational or at the US PGA Championship, Willett could have a huge chance .

Peter Lawrie carded a fine 65 to close on six-under and earn a cheque for €34,500 in a tie for 16th place, while Michael Hoey shot a 74 to finish well down the field.

Meanwhile, at the Ladies Scottish Open, Australia’s Rebecca Artis shot 66 at Dundonald to record a six-under total to beat Suzann Pettersen, the Swede, by two shots, with England’s Holly Clyburn in third on two-under.

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