Danny Willett wins the Augusta Masters
England golfer Danny captures Masters after defending champion Jordan Spieth suffers dramatic collapse
Augusta (US): England's Danny Willett was the shock winner of the 80th Masters on Sunday thanks to a bogey-free final round and an epic back-nine collapse by defending champion Jordan Spieth.
Jordan Spieth (left) presents Danny Willett with the Green Jacket after the Englishman won the final round of the 2016 Masters in Augusta on Sunday. Pic/AFP
Willett fired a five-under par 67 for a three-shot victory that brought the 28-year-old Englishman the green jacket symbolic of victory at Augusta National as well as a $1.8 million top prize 0from the $10 million purse. "It's crazy. It's surreal," Willett said. "Words can't describe the emotions and feelings. You do something special and it still doesn't quite sink in what you have achieved."
Willett finished 72 holes at five-under 283, with Spieth and English playing partner Lee Westwood sharing second on 286. Westwood, trying to win his first major title at age 42, shot 69 while Spieth, who defends his US Open title in June at Oakmont, fired a 73.
Spieth, as defending champion, presented Willett with the green jacket that he looked to make his own for most of the week, leading after all three prior rounds. "It was a very surreal day when I look back at the ebbs and flows," Willett said. "I was able to make a couple of good putts and here I am."
Danny Willett Pic/AFP
World No 12 Willett took his first major crown in only his 12th major start, becoming only the second England golfer to win the Masters after Nick Faldo, the champion in 1989, 1990 and 1996. Spieth, a wire-to-wire winner last year, had a last gasp with birdies and 13 and 15, but he missed a eight-foot birdie putt at 16 and a bogey at 17 sealed his fate.
World No 2 Spieth closed the front nine with four birdies in a row to reach the turn with a five-shot lead over Willett. Then came a back-nine horror show as frightful as anything Augusta National's famed Amen Corner has ever inflicted. Spieth went bogey-bogey to begin the back nine and disaster struck at 12 as Spieth plunked his tee shot and his third into Rae's Creek, his lead vanishing as the ball did in a splashdown to plunge him from the lead at five-under to one-under and three back.
Lack of discipline
"It's tough. It's really tough," Spieth said. "Just put a bad swing on it right at the wrong time. Just compounded mistakes. Just lack of discipline." Even rivals felt sympathy. "Anything can happen in Amen Corner," said Westwood. "It's a fine line between disaster and success at this place. That's how it is in major championship golf. It throws you some shocks."