Masters Champion | Danny Willett
Sport has always been a part of Danny’s life. Being one of four brothers who were all physically active led Danny to a career path that neither his father, Church of England vicar, or his mother, maths teacher expected. Danny left school at 16 and later quit college to play golf for Jacksonville State University in Florida.
After winning numerous titles in Australia and Spain, Danny claimed his first European Tour title in 2012, to which he has now gone on to enjoy sustained success at the top end of golf. Danny claimed the Green Jacket in the 2016 Masters Tournament to the delight of his supporters, friends and family. But what are his thoughts? Luckily we had the opportunity to find out…
Winner of the 2016 Masters – How does it feel?
“We’re nine months on now so it has sunk in and it’s an incredible thing to look back on. I’m really proud to say that I’m the Masters champion but now it’s all about getting back to playing good golf again and hopefully having a good start to 2017.”
“You were shooting 69 when you were 5 years old”- Your Ryder Cup song goes down a treat for your fans, but is it true? Go back to the year 1993; did it cross your mind that you wanted to become a professional golfer?
“That’s not true, unfortunately! It probably wasn’t in my mind back then but golf was something that really got hold of me as soon as I started playing. I had two older brothers and it was the one thing I could beat them at. I couldn’t play enough. As I started to get a bit older, becoming a professional became my goal and then you just make the small steps until you get there.”
When Jordan Spieth ran into difficulties at Augusta, you didn’t seem to be effected by nerves or tension, how did you deal with that?
“All the hours that you put in, whether it’s on the range or at the gym, is geared towards you being able to thrive in that situation and thankfully everything was there when I needed it. I’d put myself in that position over the previous three days and I was able to just go through my processes and take the chance when it came along.”
You withdrew from the World Cup due to a back injury, how did that affect you mentally and what advice would you give to those injured or recuperating?
“That was frustrating because it was something I had been looking forward to playing in for a long time. I’ve had back issues in the past so it’s something that I have to manage and unfortunately, my schedule ended up being a little too much. For anyone that has an injury, you just have to listen to the right people, do the right things and be patient.”
In 2018, The Ryder Cup will be held at Le Gold National in France, consistently considered as one of the toughest tests in professional golf with plenty of water hazards coming into play on the closing holes- does this in any way worry you?
“I think it will be a great Ryder Cup course and everyone is looking forward to it already. That final stretch is going to create some brilliant matchplay moments and I think it will be a great venue.”
Golf isn’t a leisurely walk around the countryside; tell us how demanding the sport is and how you train for a major championship?
“There is that traditional view of golf but if you look at the top guys on tour now, everyone is working very hard away from the course. I think that even the guys playing at weekends should take part in a golf-specific exercise. It can only benefit you.”
How do you recover after a training session? Nutrition? Strategies?
“Obviously Myprotein plays a huge part in what I do, whether it’s shakes or bars at the right time. It’s great to have my coach with me for soft tissue massages and I just make sure I drink plenty of fluids. Recovery is very important.”
Defending The Masters give us 3 words that describe how you feel?
“Mega, proud, excited.”
Good Luck Danny, we’re rooting for you!!