LIVE! THE MASTERS

Willett admits to 'major' struggles

Danny Willett Main

By his own admission, Danny Willett has struggled to adapt to being a major winner.

The 29-year-old last year became the first English Masters champion since Sir Nick Faldo bagged the last of his three green jackets in 1996.

In the 12 months since, Willett has struggled for form, managing only four top ten finishes and enduring a nightmare Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine where he lost all three of his matches.  

Still, to his credit, he’s not about to make excuses for his slump and is, instead, man enough to admit that he’s not coped with the pressure of being a major winner as well as he’d have liked. 

Read more - Danny Willett: "I don't want to be golfing"

Danny Willett 2

"I tried to make a pact to myself not to [feel the pressure] but it's difficult,” said Willett. “You've achieved the greatest height in your game. You have got to the pinnacle. You've climbed Everest and you've put your flag in. Unfortunately, you've got to either climb down or stay up there, and it's incredibly difficult to stay up there all the time.” 

He went on: “We're on the first tee on Thursday morning and there's millions of people watching, and if you don't hit it good, a million people see you hit it poorly and it's not nice. It's not a nice feeling to not hit good golf shots when you know what you can do.”

Read more - 10 Masters rookies to keep an eye on

Danny Willett 3

Still, Willett says he is learning to adjust and is confident that he will soon rediscover his best form. “I've always said, as long as the work ethic stays good, you keep ticking your boxes, then it's only a matter of time,” he added. “Unfortunately, it's not kind of dropped into place yet but I'm still only 29-years-old and I've got a long career.”

A long career that, whatever else happens, will see him invited to the Masters every year from now on as a past winner of the event. Being the defending champion, Willett has a number of responsibilities this week, starting this evening with the Past Champions’ Dinner in the Augusta National clubhouse, where he gets to set the menu. And, being a good Yorkshire lad, it should surprise nobody what he plans to serve up: roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.

“It's nothing really off the wall,” he added. “It would have been what most people would have thought of if they were to come to Britain and sit in a pub on Sunday and have their dinner.”

Willett also revealed that he plans to use the dinner to pay tribute to the late Arnold Palmer by leading his fellow champions in a toast to the four-time Masters champion, with the glasses charged with his favourite drink of iced tea and lemonade.

“I think that will go down quite nicely this evening,” he said. 

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
TITLEIST TOUR SPEED – Better than the Pro V1???
Titleist
play button
THE SIMPLE WAY TO HIT A LOB SHOT | GOLF EXPLAINED
Golf Lessons
play button
TaylorMade MG2 TW Grind Wedges – Tiger Woods’ secret short game weapon
TaylorMade
play button
A simple drill for perfect timing | IMG Academy
Golf Lessons
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Robert MacIntyre ‘disappointed’ with US Open debut
US Open: Rory Sabbatini just hit the worst putt of all time
WATCH - Pro has SIX-PUTT from four feet at US Open
US Open 2020: Final round tee times
Matthew Wolff the man to beat at US Open

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Stop the hands from flipping over
Watch
play button
Extend your arms through impact
Watch
play button
Stand closer to the golf ball at address
Callaway
play button
How to improve your takeaway
Callaway
See all videos right arrow