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A look back at Danny Willett's 2016 Masters victory

A look back at Danny Willett's 2016 Masters victory

Danny Willett was left to reflect on the most remarkable 12 days of his life as he followed up becoming a father for the first time with winning a Green Jacket at the Masters Tournament.

Danny Willett reads the paper after his Masters victory

The Englishman had stressed in the months building up to the season's first Major Championship that he would not take up his place in the field if wife Nicole had not yet given birth by the time Masters week rolled around, with the baby due on April 10.

Zachariah James duly arrived on March 29, and 12 days later dad produced a brilliant closing 67 to hold off the challenge of Lee Westwood and defending champion Jordan Speith to win his first Major Championship.

Willett Masters

Willett concedes that the days that followed the birth were not necessarily the greatest preparation for a golf tournament, but as he sat in the press room at Augusta National, it was clear he would not have changed a thing.

"Words can't describe what I'm feeling right now, but words definitely can't describe how I was feeling last Tuesday when I got to hold something that me and my wife have made. It's just been incredibly surreal," he said.

"I'm just looking forward to getting back home and spending some time with them.

"To win golf tournaments on Tour is what we dream of doing. It's what you practise for and it's what you play for.

You dream about these kind of days, but for them to happen, there's four a year, so to actually be sat here, it's still mind boggling - Danny Willett

"The fact that we have been able to come through everything that's happened and play so well under the pressure that we had on the back nine today, to be able to sit here with a Green Jacket on, it's incredible."

Willett has enjoyed brilliant success in the last 18 months, moving from outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking to ninth thanks to four wins on The European Tour, two of them helping him finish second in last season's Race to Dubai.

A lot of hard work has gone into making the Sheffield native one of the elite golfers on the planet, and he was quick to praise the support of family and friends for helping him achieve his dreams.

"My family, my mum and dad and my brothers obviously know the hours I put in when we're all at home living together," he said.

Danny Willett

"Brilliant as this game is and as much as the rewards it gives you, any single person pro can tell you there's a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

"It's all good and well practising for 12 hours a day, but I don't think that's going to get you many brownie points if you've got to do the dishes, change the little one's nappy and do other things like that.

"Time management, weighing everything up and making sure that not only are you trying to be a great golfer, but you're trying to be a great person, husband, father, all that stuff, as well."

Willett went from being five off the lead to the front of the field in what seemed like the blink of an eye on Sunday, as Spieth dropped six shots in three holes after the turn and the 28 year old made three birdies on the back nine.

Danny Willett

"You never feel comfortable on this golf course until you finish and sign the card and post a number," he said. "We knew we still had a job to do. At the time we were still only four under par and he had only dropped back to one, so there's still plenty of holes for him to catch up and keep chasing.

"So it was a really timely birdie on 16, and then again to make contact up 17 and 18 with what goes on, and to hit such a nice chip that I did on 17, it's just those things.

"You practise, that's what you do, endless hours chipping, putting, hitting shots, imagining hitting shots at certain golf courses at certain times. And fortunately enough today, I've been able to relive some of those dreams and some of those practice sessions."

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