The Masters. Wonderful Willett Wins

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

A wonderful final round from Danny Willett from England, won him The Masters tournament at Augusta, his first Major win.

Fate shines on the new father

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny fired a final round -5 under par 67, at Augusta,  to lift the first Major title of the year, The Masters, with a -5 under par total. His wife Nicole has just given birth to their first son Zachariah. Danny managed to sink vital putts at the right time;

“The little man was due today, obviously he listened to his dad.”

“This golf course is tough enough if you’re trying to hit shots in-between to firm greens.”

“But luckily we dropped in some good numbers down the stretch, which allowed us to be really aggressive.”

“It’s been crazy, you can’t really describe the emotions.”

“It’s my wife’s birthday back home today, my son was due today and he came 12 or 13 days early to let me come and play.”

“You talk about fate, you talk about everything else that goes with it. It’s just been a crazy, crazy week.”

“It was tough, every time we seemed to make ground, Jordan kept pulling ahead and were just trying to dig in and dig in and try and make birdies after birdies.”

“I thought we had to get to six or seven under and I look at the leaderboard and he’s already at seven.”

“It was just a very surreal day when you look back at the ebbs and flows. We’re just fortunate that the shots we hit were correct at that time and we holed a few putts when we needed to.”

Lee Westwood -3 under 69 today and Jordan Spieth, a very sad +1 over par 73, finished in a tie for second at -2  under par.

Lee commented;

“You come out and contend in the first major of the year, obviously I must be doing something right.”

Jordan collapsed with a quadruple seven at the 155 yard par three 12th hole;

Jordan SpiethJordan Spieth / Getty Images

“Obviously, happy for Danny.”

“More important than golf, he’s had a lot of really cool things happen in his life.”

“Like he said, maybe fate had it this time for him.”

These guys were  a shot clear of Paul Casey -5 under 67 today, J B Holmes -4 under 68 and Dustin Johnson, -1 under 71, all with -1 under par totals for the tournament.

Maybank Championship Malaysia, Aussie Nathan Still Top.

White Dragon Golf

Aussie Nathan Holman stays on top of the Maybank Championship Malaysia leaderboard after 36 holes at Royal Selangor Golf Club, in Malaysia.

Nathan Holman / Getty Images

Nathan Holman / Getty Images

Nathan carded -6 under par 65 in the Maybank Championship Malaysia, and stays on top of the leaderboard at -13 under par, in his quest to get into the world top 100.

Nathan spoke of his aims, and also said his putting was very good;

“After winning at home my next aim was to win a tournament overseas, so it’s great to have the chance to tick that one off the list so soon.”

“Then looking further ahead, getting into the top 100 in the World Ranking is a realistic aim.”

“It’s why we play the game, to get ourselves in front and in with a chance of winning big tournaments.”

“When I saw I was three or four shots clear after the turn there were a few nerves, but I handled myself really well and managed to pick up a couple of birdies coming in.”

Richard Bland is two shots back at -11 under par, he carded a bogey free -6 under 65 today, and was very pleased with his play over the two days;

“Very pleased, obviously. To go round here without dropping a shot in two days takes some doing. Hopefully I can continue the run going over the weekend.”

“I’ve struck my irons as well as I have for some time.”

“I also picked up a new TaylorMade driver in Dubai, and it’s added 15 yards to my drives.”

“When you’ve got a shorter club in your hand, you can try to be a bit more aggressive.”

“Nathan’s obviously playing well, I played with him at the Dunhill and he’s a very impressive player.”

“And Danny’s also flying at the weekend, so I’m going to have to keep making birdies just to keep up.”

Danny Willett, Jorge Campillo, Soomin Lee and Miguel Tabuena share third place at -8 under par, five shots behind the leader.

Danny is suffering from fatigue, and struggled round today carding -2 under 69;

“I’m struggling a bit with my body.”

“My energy levels collapsed on the back nine, and I started making a few silly mistakes.”

“But the flags were also quite tricky today and the wind’s picking up a bit, so I can’t see the scoring being too ridiculous.”

“And I would’ve taken eight under after two rounds.”

Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Danny Willett Wins.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett wins the Omega Dubai Desert Classic  at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny won the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a last round -3 under par 69, and a tournament total of -19 under par.

Danny was over the moon with this hard fought one shot win, and a much needed birdie at the last. This result could put him in the top 15 of the World Rankings;

“I’m ecstatic, you can’t buy that feeling, coming down the back nine, the last three holes, in contention in a golf tournament.”

It’s something that you can’t pay for in life. You’ve got to earn it.”

“Coming down the last with all the situations that were going on. It’s just nice to know that I can dig deep there and produce.”

“You’d love to win by five or six every time you win, but when you win in that fashion, it does feel that little bit extra special.”

“It’s a relatively daunting last hole. I needed to make a four to win. So I’m just delighted with how I dug deep and found it.”

Sharing second place were Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Andy Sullivan, with -18 under par totals . Andy with a final round -4 under 68 and Rafa -3 under 69. This the second time in succession that Rafa has placed second, he will surely win soon.

Andy acknowledged Danny making that last putt to win, after he had just made his birdie putt to catch him;

“Fair play to Dan, holing that putt, that was a tough putt.”

“When you hole that putt on the last, you feel you’ve given yourself a sneaky chance. But Dan is a quality player and you expect him to step up, and he did.”

Rafa was satisfied with being second again, but the win would have been nice;

“Finishing second again, it’s a great position. It’s been a fantastic tournament.” 

“I played really well and I’m proud of myself.”

“I’m obviously disappointed I didn’t get to win, but I know that playing like this, it’s around the corner.”

Byeong-hun An and 2011 champion Alvaro Quiros both finished with rounds of -7 under par 65, for -16 under totals, to be three behind the winner, and T4.

Rory McIlroy joined them at -16 under also carding one of the low rounds of the day at -7 under par 65, he finally came to life eventually finishing T6 with Henrik Stenson.

Rory admitted he made too many mistakes;

“It’s sort of a week of what could have been, there was a lot of really good golf in there.

“I played a lot of great shots and made a lot of birdies, but just made a few too many mistakes.”

Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Danny Willett On Top.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett is on top of the  Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard after 54 holes at Emirates Golf Club.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Danny Willett / Getty Images

Danny moved to the top of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard with a brilliant bogey free-7 under par third round 65, to give him a one shot lead with a -16 under par total.

Danny spoke about his great round, being under control, and his mental approach;

“It was good, I played great golf today.”

“I played really well yesterday and kept the foot down and could have been a couple better today. I’m delighted. I kept the ball under fantastic control with some crosswinds and did everything right really.”

“I had couple of hiccups in there today where it could have been a little different but I kept the head on and kept moving forward.”

“I think mentally, I feel like I’m very much in control of myself, which obviously helps. And swing-wise, I’ve got a few things that I’m trying to do.”

“I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and let the mind be a little bit calmer, and it seems to be working so far.”

“It’s a great golf event. I think the atmosphere around this golf course is fantastic, second to none. There are little gathering areas around tee boxes and greens, and we get a lot of support.”

Rafa Cabrera-Bello is the man in second place, at -15 under par, just one shot adrift. A third consecutive round of -5 under par 67 keeping him firmly in touch of the leader.

Third place belongs to Andy Sullivan, and at -14 under par for the tournament is definitely in contention. He stayed within sight of the top with a bogey free -6 under 66 today, in fact he has not recorded a bogey since his first hole on day one, which was a double at the tenth.

Rory McIlroy had a -4 under par 68 today, which doubled his total to -8 under par, and he now has little hope of winning this tournament.

 

Ned Bank Challenge. Henrik Stenson & Jaco Van Zyl Lead

White Dragon Golf

Henrik Stenson and Jaco Van Zyl are the first round leaders in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

Nedbank Challenge

Henrik Stenson / Getty Images

Henrik and Jaco both fired -6 under par 66 to lead the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

You would not have guessed Henrik was recovering from a bout of flu;

“I’ve been in bed with the flu for three days, and after I had to pull out of the pro-am on Tuesday I probably had a five per cent chance of playing.”

“I felt quite a bit better this morning and the doctor didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t play.”

“I’m delighted with the score but the last few holes I completely ran out of energy. From the 14th onwards my legs were like jelly and it was a real struggle.”

“I missed a couple of chances coming in but I would have taken one under standing on the first tee, so I’m very happy.”

Jaco was nervous at the start, but settled down to record a miserly 27 putts;

“It’s a great honor and privilege to be here.”

“I watch two events on TV each year, the Masters and this, so waking up this morning, instead of making sure the beers and the biltong were ready, I had to make sure my shoes were polished and my clubs were clean and go to work.”

“On the first tee I could feel my heart beating in my throat. It didn’t slow down for the first three holes but I managed to pick up a couple of quick birdies early on which settled the nerves a bit.”

“I hit ten out of fourteen fairways, and a couple I missed weren’t in trouble, just in the first cut.”

“There were a couple of short irons into par fours that I would’ve liked to get a bit closer, but the main thing is the 27 putts.

“Tomorrow I’m going to come out and enjoy every single moment.”

“It really is a thrill to be here. As a South African, it’s phenomenal to be part of this.”

Danny Willett, who was second to Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai recently, claimed third place. His opening first round score -5 under par 67 proving he still has the desire to go out and try to win.

Omega European Masters. Danny Does It Again.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett does it again, he wins his third European Tour title, the Omega European Masters, at  Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

Omega European Masters

Danny Willett & Trophy / Getty Images

A final round -5 under par 65, was good enough to give Danny victory at the Omega European Masters, posting a total of -17 under par, squeezing a one shot winning margin.

This win moves Danny up to second place in The Race to Dubai, behind leader Rory McIlroy, and may well see him climb into the top 25 of the Official Golf World Ranking. He spoke about the pressure he felt from Matt Fitzpatrick;

“It was a great day, yesterday was a bit disappointing, but today I played some really good golf.”

“Matt was snapping at my heels all day, so I’m delighted to get the job done.”

“I kept really calm all day, and just waited for the chances to come.”

“Winning is always tough, and the heart rate on 18 was pretty high.”

“Having a lag putt is almost trickier than trying to hole one sometimes, so I was pretty relieved to see it stop a foot or two from the hole.”

“He played some great golf and really kept the pressure on me.”

“But it probably made it a bit easier to be honest, because it meant I could not lose concentration even for a minute.”

“With a bigger lead you can take your foot off the gas a little bit, but today I knew I had to keep attacking and committing fully to shots, and luckily enough it turned out well in the end.”

“Two wins and good performances in Majors and Golf Championships is more than I could have hoped for really, but I have worked really hard so it is nice to get the rewards for it.”

Matt Fitzpatrick finished in second place at -16 under par, a last round -4 under par 66 kept the pressure on the leader all the way to the last hole;

“I played to win but Danny just went one better, so you have to take your hat off to him.”

“I don’t have any regrets whatsoever, and that is all you can ask of yourself. I gave it everything, but Danny was very impressive.”

“There were a couple of turning points which decided it, but I matched him birdie for birdie for the most part. I know Danny very well, he is also from Sheffield so I am very pleased for him.”

“I am really pleased with the week. It has been building for a few weeks now, so hopefully I can get over the line at some stage.”

“It is still only my first season on Tour and I am only 20, so I am still learning every week. Experiences like today’s will be invaluable in the future.” 

Tyrrell Hatton claimed third place, a magnificent 4th round score of -8 under par 62 elevating up the leaderboard to finish on -15 under par, making it an English 1,2,3. He was obviously very happy with his performance;

 “I am really happy. It is my lowest score on The European Tour, so even though I have come up just short I cannot be disappointed.”

“To do it on a Sunday at a place like Crans is very special, so I’ll enjoy this one for a while.”

 

Omega European Masters. Two Tied at the Top

White Dragon Golf

There are two players tied at the top of the Omega European Masters leaderboard. Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick have a two shot advantage after 54 holes at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

Omega European Masters

Matt Fitzpatrick / Getty Images

Matt and Danny sit on top of the Omega European Masters tournament with -12 under par totals. Matt carded a third round -6 under par 66, which included two bogey’s. Danny went backwards with a +1 over par round of 71, after starting the day with a one shot advantage.

Matt, the former US Amateur Champion, thanked the dentist who sorted out his troublesome toothache yesterday;

“I didn’t get off to the best of starts, with a bogey at the first, at that point 74 was looking much more likely than 64”

“I feel like I’ve been playing well for a while now, so it’s been coming but 65-64 yesterday and today is still good going.” 

“I also have to thank the dentists I visited yesterday, because I was in a lot of pain at the start of the week, but they did a pretty good job on me.” 

“I’ve just got to keep it going really. It sounds really boring, but I’ll be taking it one hole at a time and trying to stay in the moment, and stay patient. Although that’s easier said than done!” 

Danny on the other hand was not feeling too well out on the course, and it was a tough day weatherwise;

“Golf’s not the greatest game when you’re feeling a little bit under the weather, but I won’t be using it as an excuse.” 

“It wasn’t the best of days, and the round could’ve got away from me early doors. So it was good to hang tough and finish off the round quite nicely.” 

“Hopefully that’s my one bad round out the way.” 

“If we get another day like today, not too many people are going to go low out there, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“Hopefully I can commit to a few more shots than I did today.”

Raphaël Jacquelin is in third place at -10 under par, a -2 under par 68 keeping him in touch with the leaders, he carded a triple bogey seven, on the par four 4th, but recovered with eight birdies.

The defending champion David Lipsky lies in  fourth place at -9 under, with the Korean pair of Seuk-hyun Baek and Y E Yang a shot further back at -8 under par for the tournament.

David reported just how bad the weather was out on the Crans-sur-Sierre course;

“It was brutal out there with the winds picking up. I made up ground with the leaders which was my goal today.”

“I thought I would lose ground shooting one-under but with this wind today, you just got to hold on and hope for the best.”

“Obviously I want to win the title and there’s lots of pressure involved with that. But whoever I’m playing with tomorrow, I’m just going to go out there and have some fun.”

“I’ll definitely be looking at the leaderboard as it helps to know what I need to do to progress through the round.”

Seuk-hyun was amazed to find he was only four shots off the lead at the end of the day;

“When I reached the last hole, I found out I was only four back. So I still have a chance.”