FOR the first time in 20 years an Englishman has won the Masters, in Augusta. Twenty-eight-year-old Danny Willett shot a closing 67 for a 5-under 283 total, whilst the defending champion Jordan Spieth was tied in second place, three shots back, with Englishman Lee Westwood.
In his second Masters, Willett birdied three out of the final six holes to finish off a bogey free spectacle and become only the second Englishman to win the green jacket and the top prize of $1.8m. Nick Faldo was the only other Brit to win the Masters, which he achieved three times.
Willett has won the European Tour four times but was not favourite to win the Masters this year as his wife Nicole was due to give birth to their first child. The due date was Sunday but the baby, who has been named Zachariah James, arrived a week ahead of the tournament by C-section.
On winning Willett said: “You can’t really describe your emotions and feelings. Someone has got to win and today was my day. I played great golf. It has been a fantastic week. It was just a very surreal day… and a crazy, crazy week.”
The American number two, Spieth, was storming ahead in the competition on Sunday being five strokes in front with nine holes to play and victory firmly in sight, when suddenly things started to go wrong. At the 10th and 11th he bogeyed before accumulating a disastrous seven at the par-three 12th.
Spieth looked emotional as he fought back tears in an interview to CBS: “It’s tough, really tough. Four birdies in a row and I knew that even par (on the back nine) is good by at least a shot and sometimes that makes it hard. You go away from the game plan and start playing conservative. A few weak swings and suddenly I am not leading anymore.”
Sheffield man, Willett, is the son of a vicar. Originally leaving school at 16 and quitting a college soon after saying that he “hated it,” he decided to move to the US where he attended Jacksonville State in Alabama for two years.