From Zero To Hero, Masters Champ: Danny Willett

Danny Willett is a professional golfer from, the small city of Sheffield in England. On Sunday April 10th 2016 he became only the second Englishman to win the Masters at Augusta National, Georgia. I chose to write about Danny in this paper because I have a personal connection with him, I have been lucky enough to play with him on a few occasions and have been able to sit down and have lunch with him and pick his brains about the sport. During this conversation we talked about the future and how I wanted to follow in his footsteps of being a college Golfer.

Willett always had a strong amateur career. In 2008 he became number-one amateur in the world, which is a very prestigious honour indeed. Just one year earlier he led the GB and I Walker cup team winning all his matches against the USA. However his professional career started slow and took time to make an impact. In 2012 he captured his maiden victory on the European Tour and since then has won five times including his most recent major championship. Many people say this was a fluke however Danny has found himself in striking distance at a major before as he found himself playing in the final group on a Saturday at the Open at St. Andrews just last year, where he eventually finished tied for sixth.

Danny and his instructor have been together for many years now working hard since a young age to eliminate his left miss. At address, Danny likes to have the ball under his left shoulder, pre-setting a slightly upward strike. “When he struggles, his right hip gets too high, causing his hips to point left. Getting the right hip lower is a good thought for most players with the driver.” (Danny Willett). He hinges the club on his backswing more than most, getting his left arm in a slightly more vertical position, but due to his tremendous stability in his lower body he is able to create lots of angle known as “lag” to create a strong and stable impact position. Hence his consistency.

Willett won against all odds on Sunday at the masters, after being unsure whether he was going to be able to play due to the birth of his first child just eight days earlier, he defied the odds. Arriving for the week late and only playing the Masters once before, this was not ideal preparation for the now newly crowned masters champion, but somehow he pulled it off. What was even more impressive though was with nine holes left to play Willett trailed by 5 strokes but due to a crazy turn of events and collapse from reigning masters champion, Jordan Spieth, Willett came out on top. With an incredible sixty-seven, five-under par, bogey free round on Sunday of a Masters, Willett joined the elite and prestigious group of major winners, a recognition a true great golfer.

The first source, Brenda writes about Willett’s home life and how that drastically changed leading up to the Masters in 2016. The second source I chose writes about Danny’s early career in the professional world and about his amateur career, this is a contrast to that of the third source which writes about his life changing win at the Masters in 2016 which was unforgettable and will go down in the history books, this source also detailed his friends and opponents reactions to his win following the final round.

Annotated Bibliography

Brenda, Power. “Just think if Danny Willett had Missed the Masters… to be at a Birth Where he wasn’t even Needed.” Daily Mail 12 Apr. 2016: 12. Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Danny Willett, had said he was going to have to miss the tournament if his first child was born on his due date right at the climax of Masters week. There was no question, said Danny, that attending his son’s birth took priority over the Masters. However his wife gave birth 10 days early to Zachariah meaning Danny wasn’t forced to make a decision which in his mind was clear regardless.

Schiffman, Roger. “Danny Willett.” Golf Digest 67.1 (2016): 24-25. Health Source – Consumer Edition. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

The article profiles Danny Willett, an English professional golfer from Sheffield. It highlights his victories at various golf competitions including Walker Cup in 2007, BMW International in 2012, and Omega European Masters in July 2015. An overview on his techniques in golfing such as body position and swing style.

The Masters 2016: Danny Willett Seizes On Jordan Spieth Implosion To Win Green Jacket.” ABC Premium News (n.d.): Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

This article details and outlines the play during the final round of the Masters 2016 and details the reaction by some players after the final round such as Jordan speith who was runner up and Willett’s close personal friend Lee Westwood who was also runner up and they talked about Danny’s game and back nine which won him the tournament.


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