One year ago, Danny Willett capitalized on a series of mistakes from Jordan Spieth to win the Masters Tournament, his first major title.

Danny Willett gears up For 2017 Masters

Willett took the fabled green jacket from Spieth and won the $1.8 million first-place prize.

Now, the 29-year-old Englishman is gearing up for this year’s tournament at Augusta, Georgia which begins April 6.

Willett has reflected on his life-altering win from 2016, and how he hasn’t won a tournament since that event.

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“It’s just getting everything in perspective and realizing what you’ve achieved is pretty special, that people don’t do that every day,” Willett told CNN’s Living Golf show. “It’s been a sharp learning curve for me because it did knock me back a little bit.”

Then 28, Willett was the first Brit to win in Georgia since Nick Faldo claimed the last of his three titles in 1996. He was also the first European champion since Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal’s second win in 1999. Willett was ranked 12th in the world at the time.


Willett, a Sheffield native, wasn’t even originally going to participate in the 2016 Masters. His wife was due to give birth to their first child on the final Sunday.

The Englishman vowed to withdraw if his baby didn’t arrive before the tournament began, but his son ended up being born seven days before the first round, so he took a plane out to America.

Willett finished no better than tied 37th in the rest of the year’s three majors.

The reigning Masters champ also had to deal with a loss at the Ryder Cup last year, as well as the fallout from a scathing column his brother Peter wrote about American golf fans around that time.

The Masters victory gave him “unrealistic” expectations, he says.

“In terms of golfing heights it’s the pinnacle, and I achieved that day what you dream of achieving,” adds Willett, the third of four brothers from a mother who was a teacher and father who was a vicar. “Unfortunately your mind and body think you can do that every single day. If you compare every week to that week you’re going to be unhappy. I was working very hard but I was incredibly tough on myself if things weren’t going perfect in practice. Why? You’ve just done this (win the Masters).
“That’s the toughest thing to get sorted is the realization that this game is hard, and as fantastic and as good as the highs are, the lows will bring you straight back down to earth pretty quickly.”
We’ll see next week how Willett fares at this year’s Masters.
CHASKA, MN – SEPTEMBER 29: Danny Willett of Europe plays a tee shot during practice prior to the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 29, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

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