Danny Willett 'can give Rory a run for his money'

2016 04 Getty Images 765924591
• Danny Willett can challenge Rory in terms of major titles
• That's the view of 2007 Walker Cup captain Colin Dalgleish• "Hopefully this is the early part of the story for him," he said


Masters champion Danny Willett is capable of giving Rory McIlroy a run for his money in terms of major titles, according to the man who captained both players at the 2007 Walker Cup.

Colin Dalgleish saw first-hand the supreme talent of the duo in the match at Royal County Down, recalling Willett as a ‘livewire’ who ‘oozed confidence’ as he scored one point from a possible four in the 12.5-11.5 defeat to USA.

“Rory is a unique talent – I hope he has a number more majors in him,” said Dalgleish, who also captained the GB&I team in 2009. “But I see no reason why Danny can’t go on and give him a good run for his money as he’s now a player who’ll be on that world stage all the time.

“I remember Danny as such a livewire who oozed confidence and self-belief, but in a nice way. He was super enthusiastic and had a golf game which, even at that age, was capable of overpowering a golf course. He’s got the same talent as Rory in that sense.


The Masters - Final Round

“Hopefully this Masters win is just the early part of the story for him. He’s still pretty young to be winning a major and he’s got that confidence now of being able to compete and win at that level.”

Willett’s journey to major champion has been somewhat different to that of his Walker Cup teammate McIlroy. The Englishman had to wait until June 2012 for his maiden win at the BMW International Open after struggling to 91st place in the Race to Dubai in 2011, while McIlroy – who is 17 months younger – grabbed his second major title just two months later at the 2012 US PGA Championship.

And while acknowledging McIlroy’s major-winning reputation that he always seemed likely to achieve, Dalgleish is full of admiration for the way in which Willett has built his career.

“Rory was a child wonder from three-years-old who was always tipped for stardom and had success at a very young age, while Danny’s progress has been far more steady, learning and getting better all the time.

“He’s slowly built up his career and this last year to 18 months has just been fantastic for him. I spoke to him in Dubai at the World Tour Championship in 2014 and a couple of weeks later he won the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Since then, it’s been massive for him.”


Walker Cup Previews

Willett’s win means that the 2007 Walker Cup team has achieved its very own Grand Slam, something which Dalgleish jokes about, especially when that star-studded US team – featuring Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson – only has the latter’s 2012 US Open win to its list of major titles.

“I was waiting for Rory to hopefully complete his career Grand Slam but he now has to wait a bit longer but with Danny doing it, it completes a 2007 GB&I Walker Cup team slam!

“It just shows how tough it is to win a major championship though, thinking about the talent on that US team, and shows the incredible achievement of Danny at Augusta.”

Danny Willett :: More majors?

Do you agree that Danny Willett has the potential to win more majors – and maybe even finish with more than Rory? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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