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Rejuvenated Danny Willett shows fine form in Italy

Danny Willett on the final day of the Italian Open
Danny Willett on the final day of the Italian Open
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Danny Willett delivered his best finish for almost 16 months as he secured a tie for eighth at the Italian Open.

The Hackenthorpe-born golfer maintained superb form and consistency throughout the week in Brescia and was in firm contention for victory at various points throughout the final day.

While he ultimately finished six shots behind winner Thorbjorn Olesen, Willett will return from Italy buoyed by his efforts.

Prior to this weekend Willett had made just one cut in nine events this season.

And since his previous best finish – a tie for fifth at the Maybank Championship in February 2017 – the 30-year-old had made it into the weekend on only nine occasions from 27 outings.

Though he continues to be blighted be injury niggles – a knee issue was causing him problems at the weekend – that he could sustain strong form over four days will provide a considerable boost to the work he has put in to rediscovering his form.

It was unfortunate his quietest day in Italy came in the final round as he carded a two under par 69.

His round brought three bogeys, leaving him with an impressive tally of just five over the four days.

Willett is next in action at the US Open at Shinnecock Hills in New York on June 14.

Fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick produced a fine final day performance to finish in a tie for 30th.

Fitzpatrick carded a five under par 66 to move to -11 for the tournament.

Italy’s Francesco Molinari came up agonisingly short in his bid for back-to-back wins and a third Italian Open crown as Olesen – who carded a flawless 64 on day four – held his nerve to claim the fifth European Tour title of his career.