Tuesday, 01 March 2016
Danny Willett  (Getty Images)
Danny Willett (Getty Images)
Danny Willett will be aiming for a first World Golf Championships victory this week when he tees it up at the WGC - Cadillac Championship, but long-term the Englishman has even loftier glories on his mind.

The 28 year old arrives at Trump National Doral after a meteoric rise up the World Golf Ranking, helped by three European Tour wins in the last 15 months.

Willett was 104th in the rankings in November 2014 but is now up to 15th, and showed his winning determination when he sank a brilliant clutch putt on the 72nd hole to claim the Omega Dubai Desert Classic last month.

He also finished in the top 20 in each of last season's four WGC events and is now aiming for a victory in Florida, with the eventual goal of establishing himself as the world's top player.

"There's only one place that everyone up there wants to be and that's everyone's goal," he said.

I think you can ask anyone in the top 50 and they would tell you that they are striving to be number one - Danny Willett

"If they're not, then more fool them. That's what you work hard for; I don't work hard to try and finish average. You work hard to try and win.

"Fortunately enough I've been able to do that and hopefully I can continue to do that and see where it takes us.

"I think you've just got to try and not put too much pressure on yourself, because it is a World Golf Championships and just go out there and try and have a bit of fun and play golf.

"It's one of those where if you play well and things go your way, touch wood, it happens at the right weeks."

Willett's form has put him at the forefront of the chase for a place on the European Ryder Cup team and should he make Darren Clarke's squad, it will be his debut in the showpiece event.

And despite his four career European Tour victories, Willett does not believe anything can prepare you for the clash against the United States.

"You're going to be a rookie at some point playing in a Ryder Cup," he said. "Probably better to be a rookie having won a few times and performed well under pressure in big events.

"I've never played it, so I can't really say, but from what I've heard it's the most nerve-wracking thing you can do. You will definitely still feel like a rookie."

Before Hazeltine comes the Masters Tournament at Augusta but with Willett's wife Nicole due to give birth during the event, the Sheffield native admits his participation is in doubt.

"Hopefully we have a nice, easy, smooth, early birth and I can get out there, even if I go and fly out Tuesday or Wednesday," he said. "It's one of the golf tournaments you don't really want to miss.

"If she's not given birth, I'll not go. It's too far to get back. You can't get back in time. There's plenty more Masters."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SCOTT, AdamAUS18-12
2WATSON, BubbaUSA18-11
T3WILLETT, DannyENG18-10
T3MCILROY, RoryNIR18-10
5MICKELSON, PhilUSA18-9
6WALKER, JimmyUSA18-8

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