US Open: Sheffield star Danny Willett ready for next Major quest

Danny Willett, of England, watches his putt on the 10th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Danny Willett, of England, watches his putt on the 10th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf championship at Oakmont Country Club on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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Danny Willett admits he is relishing his status as the only man capable of conquering golf’s last great unachieved feat this year.

The reigning Masters champion begins his quest for a second Major title at the US Open at the devilishly difficult Oakmont today.

No man has ever achieved the Grand Slam of winning all four Majors in the same year.

And the Sheffield golfer is delighted to be in a position to make history.

“It is quite funny because running up to this week, you are the only guy that can do it in the same year,” he said.

“But, again, that’s not to say you’re not going to win the Masters again and have another chance to do it a few more times in your career.

“It’s just nice that we have got that chance. What comes of that? You don’t really know.”

The Hackenthorpe-born world number nine is expecting a tough test from the Oakmont course.

Incredibly thick, rough and rapid greens have pundits predicting carnage for some unfortunate players this weekend.

Willett is looking forward to the challenge, describing the Pennsylvania course as ‘great fun.’

He said: “The only thing I say around this place is you’re probably not going to see a ton of birdies.

“It’s going to be a lot of pars and trying to limit your mistakes to when you do get out of position” said Willett.

“So hopefully, we can keep it in the fairways and keep it on the greens and make life as stress-free as possible.

“It’s a great golf course, great fun. There’s a lot of different shots you can play.

“I think it gives you a lot of options off the tee depending upon how aggressive you want to play, but then you have to be really careful on where you place your ball around the green.

“Five over par on this golf course, after playing a few hours on Monday, for four rounds is a pretty good score.

“You look at the strength of the field and it would be fantastic to even be somewhere thereabouts come Sunday. We’re just going to have to play golf and see what happens.

“Hopefully, we can be somewhere there and get a little bit of a feeling for it.”

Willett tees off at 1.24pm in the marquee group of the day alongside Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler.

Fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick is out at 1.13am, competing for the first time since winning the Nordea Masters a fortnight ago.