Rio 2016: Willett needs something “pretty special” to claim Olympic medal

Danny Willett.
Danny Willett.
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DANNY Willett enjoyed his best day so far of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, but conceded it has still left himself with a lot to do if he is to finish on the podium on Sunday.

As golf makes a triumphant return to the Olympic programme in Rio, Willett is clearly getting into his groove as the competition progresses.

He opened up his assault on a medal by going round in a level par 71 strokes on Thursday, before going one better 24 hours later.

And on day three he continued the trend of improving as he ending his round having shot a two-under 69.

That leaves the Masters champion on three-under ahead of today’s [Sunday’s] final round, tied for 14th.

Leading the way is teammate Justin Rose on 12-under, while Australian Marcus Fraser currently occupies the bronze medal position three shots back.

But while he knows it is a tough ask to propel himself into medal contention, Willett insists he is going to give it his all on the final day.

“I chucked a nice little treble [bogie] in there, which didn’t help our cause but apart from that we would have been sitting at six under and not too far off going into the last round,” he said.

“Unfortunately we did and it is going to need a pretty special one if we are going to get anywhere near that podium.

“We could have picked up a few more but I guess everyone comes back in and says that. It is getting trickier out there but the lads are all very good at golf so the scoring is still pretty good.

“After three days we have left ourselves with a little bit too much work to do so we are going to have to go out there and shoot pretty low.

“The wind swirl picks up in the afternoon, it is alright in the morning, and you can see now it is pumping quite hard. It all depends on just how far in front the lads get, if they are within five or six, you never know, but any more than that and you starting stretch out a little bit too much.”

While very few remember who came second or third in a major, an Olympic medal of any colour in Brazil would be special, with the sport returning to the greatest show on earth for the first time in more than 100 years.

And this fact is not lost on Willett.

“I am going to have to keep playing well and see, it is one of those where if you come out the blocks and start going low early then you have probably got to press and keep pressing and take a few of risks that you might not ordinarily take,” he added.

“Because it is only the top three that count here hopefully if you get off to a quick start you can press a little bit and see what happens.”

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