Hazeltine-bound: Danny Willett
In the first of our series profiling the players confirmed a place in Darren Clarke’s European side for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, we take a closer look at rookie and Masters champion, Danny Willett.
A native of Rotherham in Yorkshire, England, and the son of a preacher, he enjoyed a stunning amateur career, winning the English Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s after being crowned Yorkshire Amateur Champion in 2007, before going on to play in the Walker Cup and become number one amateur in Europe. Earned his 2009 playing rights after cruising through all three stages of the Qualifying School. Coached by Mike Walker and Pete Cowen.
European Tour appearances: 206
European Tour wins: 5
Top ten finishes: 48
Career earnings: €11,418,832
Ryder Cup record
2016 Qualification highlights
Kick-started his bid for a Ryder Cup debut with a tied third finish at the Open d’Italia last September, since when he has accrued a further seven top five finishes during the qualification period – with two notable highlights. After pushing Rory McIlroy all the way in the 2016 Race to Dubai, he won his fourth European Tour title with a clutch birdie putt on the 72nd green at the Dubai Desert Classic before capturing a memorable maiden Major victory with a sublime final round 67 in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National.
Willett’s form during the points race:
“To be on the plane to Hazeltine with Clarkey and the lads is going to be awesome. It's a dream come true.
“I'm going to be a rookie so it's going to be great fun to embrace everything that goes around it and to get advice off people who have done it many, many times before, to sit down and talk to Rory (McIlroy), (Henrik) Stenson, Sergio (Garcia) and ask them, as crazy as it sounds, how to deal with the pressure of The Ryder Cup.
“Apparently the nerves I felt on the Sunday of Masters compared to the Ryder Cup is massively different.”