'˜I texted him: Have you just won the Masters lol?' - local golf scene basks in Willett's glory

The local golf scene is basking in the reflected glory of Danny Willett's Masters title, as everyone who played a part in his major journey gets a piece of the action.

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 3:32 pm
Pro golfer Danny Willetts visited Bondhay Golf Club for a golf clinic and presentation. Danny is pictured with the children of club members (w120514-5a)

From Birley Wood to Bondhay, Rotherham to Lindrick, club captains, coaches and professionals have been thrust in front of cameras and microphones.

One thing that shines through the interviews is Willett’s determination to better himself.

Danny Willett and Michael Ramsden

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But that’s not something he did entirely on his own, and it’s only right that the likes of Michael Ramsden get to have their say, because they’ve played their part.

Ramsden was head pro at Bondhay when he met Willett 14 years ago.

The Sheffield youngster was playing off 26 and Ramsden not only had a hand in developing Willett’s game, he introduced him to big events.

“I spent a hell of a lot of time with him,” said Ramsden.

Danny Willett and Michael Ramsden

“He’d play every night, I’d take him out, take him to competitions – he caddied for me at a couple of Open Qualifying rounds and we still speak about it now, about how it helped get him going.”

It’s easy to say in hindsight, but Ramsden and others have insisted that Willett’s success has come as no surprise.

To a man, they’re adamant that Willett was always on a path to the top.

“Without a shadow of a doubt,” said Ramsden.

“I’ve been a professional for 22 years and you can see it in kids.

“You never know they will make it 100 per cent, they have to be in the right place at the right time and get a bit of luck.

“But he never messed about, structured everything he did, didn’t want to party, he just wanted to play golf.”

So how does it feel when someone you’ve known for over a decade wins sport’s most famous green jacket?

Renishaw Park head PGA professional Ramsden can’t quite articulate the feelings he had on Sunday.

“I text him and said ‘This is so surreal, have you just won the Masters lol?’

“Watching him go top of the leaderboard, when you have Lee Westwood another local lad up there too, it was surreal.

“But I’m over the moon for him and you can see a massive future now.”

And three days later, Ramsden, like others who can claim involvement in Willett’s rise to the top, are still celebrating one of their own: “The whole place is buzzing. It’s amazing to see and it makes you want to play a little bit more yourself.”