Birthday boy Danny Willett celebrates championship win at St Andrews with Alfred Dunhill Links Yorkshire News

Danny Willett poses with the trophy on the Swilken Bridge after winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. Image: PA.

The 2016 Masters champion entered the final round at St Andrews with a three-shot lead and loaded a 68 to reach 18 under and outnumber his English compatriots Tyrrell Hatton and Joakim Lagergren of Sweden.

Willett extended his lead to four in the early stages and while Richard Bland trailed him briefly, birdies in the ninth and 10th gave him a three-shot lead once again and eight pairs in the difficult final stretch saw him close a first. victory in two years.

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Following his triumph at Augusta National, Willett fell to 462nd in the world before winning two of the elite Rolex Series events on the European Tour in 2018 and 2019.

This season has seen him struggle with Covid-19, wisdom teeth, appendicitis and a hernia, but he once again rallied to win his eighth European Tour event and could return to the world’s top 100.

“It’s been a couple of years of normal things again,” said the Yorkshireman, who turned 34 on Sunday. “It seems to me that I do this a lot actually, up and down.

“It really has been a very unfortunate last eight months. Every time it seems like the game has been in a good place, we’ve had a couple of things, health issues, things that you really can’t avoid.

“Covid, wisdom teeth, appendix, they’re just things and they seem to have pushed us back a couple of pegs and we’ve never been able to pick up the momentum. To all who watch, this seems quite unexpected, but the practice that I have been doing at home and the internal belief that we have every time we go in and out of position to do something, it showed again. “

Willett birdied the first and third from six feet and, while dropping a shot after finding a bad lie in the fourth, he hit straight back with an up and down at the fifth par five.

Bland made four straight birdies from the fourth and added another in the ninth to join the lead, but Willett nearly made the same hole and secured a birdie before rolling on a 40-foot putt in the 10th.

Hatton admitted there was fatigue after being part of the European Ryder Cup team that won 19-9 last week, but the two-time winner of this event loaded a final bogey-free 67 to sit a shot ahead of Bland and another player. of the Ryder Cup on Shane. Lowry.

Tommy Fleetwood finished 13 under to turn three members of Padraig Harrington’s team into the top 10 and Willett, who played in defeat at Hazeltine in 2016, hopes to represent Europe once again in 2023.

“This is my first time seeing the Ryder Cup and I was bitterly disappointed not to be there,” he said.

“” It wasn’t nice to see the guys get beaten when you know you think you can add something to the team. But he wasn’t playing well enough to make the team.

“I rarely achieve long-term goals, but I would definitely love to be on that team two years from now to try to help.”

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This notice was published: 2021-10-03 17:59:58

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