The Masters: From baby joy to Augusta glee for Danny Willett

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, left, helps 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, put on his green jacket following the final round of the Masters
Defending champion Jordan Spieth, left, helps 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, put on his green jacket following the final round of the Masters
0
Have your say

There was a point when Danny Willett wasn’t even sure if he would be taking part in the Masters this year.

Last night, his name was was etched among the greats of golf as the Sheffield star came through on the final round to become the hero of the hour.

A week ago, Willett’s wife Nicole gave birth to the couple’s first child and before then there was a genuine chance that the 28 year old may not make it to Augusta, with yesterday being the baby’s due date.

One ‘C’ section later, a couple of sleepless nights and a week’s worth of practice and Willett became the first Masters winner from these shores since Nick Faldo, 20 years ago.

“It has been crazy I can’t really describe the emotions and feelings, someone has got to win and fortunately today it was me,” he said.

“My wife was born in ten minutes time 28 years ago, my son was due today and born early to let me come and play, talk about fate, it has just been a crazy week.”

Danny Willett, of England, celebrates on the 18th hole after finishing the final round of the Masters

Danny Willett, of England, celebrates on the 18th hole after finishing the final round of the Masters

First battling Jordan Spieth then Worksop’s Lee Westwood, it was Willett who came out on top on a dramatic day which had seen defending champion Spieth throw away a commanding lead.

Spieth birdied four holes in a row from the sixth to reach the turn with a five-shot lead and seemingly certain to follow Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods in winning back-to-back titles at Augusta National.

However, the world number two - who had led for seven rounds in succession following his wire-to-wire victory last year - then dropped shots at the 10th and 11th and ran up a quadruple-bogey seven on the 12th after hitting two balls into Rae’s Creek in front of the green.

Willett birdied the 13th and 14th to reach the top of the leaderboard and another on the 16th helped complete a superb 67.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, left, helps 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, put on his green jacket following the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, left, helps 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, put on his green jacket following the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“It was tough ,Jordan kept pulling ahead and I had to dig in and dig in,” added Willett.

“I thought we needed to get to six or seven. It was a surreal day with ebbs and flows. I was fortunate that the shots we hit were correct and I holed putts when I needed to.

Hallamshire’s Matt Fitzpatrick produced a quite stunning final round to secure a seventh-placed finish.

The 21-year-old had held steady throughout the week while plenty lost their leads and made a brilliant final day charge, finishing with a five under par 67 to move to even par for the tournament.

Four birdies in the last five holes proved to be the key for Fitzpatrick, who gave his hopes of a Ryder Cup debut a shot in the arm.

“I played really well tee to green and gave myself lots of chances, that was the big thing,’’ he said. “I had a lot of putts between six and 15 feet and certainly on the back nine decided to hole them and that was the difference.”