Mental fitness helps Danny Willett find form

Danny Willett tied for third at the Irish Open last month
Danny Willett tied for third at the Irish Open last month
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He may be embroiled in an on-going battle with a shoulder issue but mental fitness has helped Danny Willett find the most consistent form of his career.

The Sheffield golfer has enjoyed a strong last month, including a third place finish in the Irish Open which gained him entry to The Open next week.

All this has come despite a nagging injury which has restricted the amount of golf he can play.

But the 26-year-old says an increased focus on the mental side of the game has brought greater consistency to his play.

“The better you get, the more you realise that it plays a big part in it,” Willett told the Star.

“There’s only so good you can get at striking a golf ball, hitting a putt or a chip.

“Then you’ve got to look at other areas where guys might not be working as hard as you and try and improve those.

“Mentally I’ve been a lot better this year than last.

“When you’re feeling good it allows you to play better and make more cuts. You’re not thinking too much rubbish along the way.”

Willett has this year had a session with renowned sports psychologist Steve Peters, a lecturer at Sheffield University lauded for his work with the British Cycling team, Liverpool FC and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

He said: “I was already relatively knowledgeable about a lot of the stuff before but going to see him cleared it up a bit.

“I’ve just bee the once at the minute but I’m hoping to get back in.

“It’s allowed me to read things and see the other side of it, where things come from. It gives you a different perspective on how you see things and allows you to evolve your approach.

“I’ve been doing things like this for ten years probably, seeing people every now and then but I’ve given it more thought recently.

“Seeing Steve was obviously very good. His man management is well known.”

Willett will compete in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, starting tomorrow.