Masters

Willett storms to Masters green jacket

2016-04-11 01:09
Danny Willett (Getty)

Augusta - 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.

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 from 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, five down to Spieth with six holes to play, birdied the par-5 13th, par-4 14th and par-3 16th to charge into the clubhouse while the 22-year-old American endured a nightmare meltdown with bogeys at 10 and 11 and a quadruple bogey at the par-3 12th.

"I just put a couple of weak swings on it and suddenly I'm not leading anymore," said Spieth. "I'll be disappointed with that one.

"It was a very tough 30 minutes for me. I hope I never experience it again."

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."

Willett was not even going to play the Masters because his wife was due to give birth on Sunday, but she gave birth March 30 and he was able to come down Magnolia Lane for his date with destiny.

"You talk about fate and everything else that goes with it -- it has been a crazy week," Willett said.

World number 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 an eight-foot birdie putt at 16 and a bogey at 17 sealed his fate.

 World number two 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.

"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."

Willett sank four-foot birdie putts at 13 and 14 to reach four-under. Westwood chipped in for birdie at 15 to pull within a shot but Willett responded with a birdie from seven feet at 16 while a Westwood bogey dropped him three back.

Willett, who shared 38th last year in his Masters debut, joined Phil Mickelson and Doug Ford as the only Masters winners to shoot 67 or better in a bogey-free last round.

Spieth failed in his bid to join Faldo, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as back-to-back Masters winners and missed a chance to overtake Australia's Jason Day for the top ranking spot.

England's Paul Casey and Americans Dustin Johnson and JB Holmes shared fourth on 287 with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and England's Matthew Fitzpatrick another stroke back sharing seventh.

Anticipation built for the wild back nine after a record three aces at the par-3 16th in the same round.

Ireland's Shane Lowry and US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love made the first two at the 170-yard hole and South African Louis Oosthuizen added a third when his ball struck billiards-style off that of playing partner Holmes and into the cup.

Germany's 58-year-old Bernhard Langer, a two-time Masters winner trying to become golf's oldest major champion, fired a 79 to finish on 294.

Third-ranked Rory McIlroy, trying to become the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam, fired a 71 to finish on 289.

Collated final round scores in the Masters at Par-72 Augusta National on Sunday, (USA) unless stated otherwise:

283 - Daniel Willett (ENG)

286 - Jordan Spieth 66 74 73 73, Lee Westwood (ENG) 71 75 71 69

287 - Dustin Johnson 73 71 72 71, Paul Casey (ENG) 69 77 74 67, J.B. Holmes 72 73 74 68

288 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 69 74 74 71, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 71 72 72 73, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 71 76 74 67

289 - Daniel Berger 73 71 74 71, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70 71 77 71, Justin Rose (ENG) 69 77 73 70, Brandt Snedeker 71 72 74 72, Jason Day (AUS) 72 73 71 73

291 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 72 72 77 70, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 72 77 71 71

292 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 71 75 74 72, Billy Horschel 70 77 73 72, Danny Lee (NZL) 68 74 79 71, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 74 73 75 70

293 - Brooks Koepka 73 72 76 72, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 74 72 75 72, Bryson De Chambeau 72 72 77 72

294 - Bernhard Langer (GER) 72 73 70 79, Bill Haas 75 74 72 73, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 73 73 73 75, Matt Kuchar 75 73 72 74, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 72 75 78 69

295 - Charley Hoffman 71 77 73 74, Jimmy Walker 71 75 74 75, Smylie Kaufman 73 72 69 81, Scott Piercy 70 72 79 74, Webb Simpson 77 72 74 72

296 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 69 75 81 71, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 73 72 79 72, Kevin Streelman 71 75 79 71

297 - Bubba Watson 75 75 76 71, Kevin Kisner 77 72 76 72

298 - Justin Thomas 76 73 78 71, Shane Lowry (IRL) 68 76 79 75, Romain Langasque (FRA) 74 73 83 68

299 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 73 76 76 74, Chris Wood (ENG) 72 73 75 79, Adam Scott (AUS) 76 72 75 76, Davis Love 73 73 76 77, Troy Merritt 74 71 79 75, Harris English 74 73 76 76, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 76 73 75 75

300 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 69 78 82 71, Martin Kaymer (GER) 74 75 79 72, Patrick Reed 76 73 75 76

301 - Keegan Bradley 74 73 77 77, Larry Mize 76 73 78 74

302 - Hunter Mahan 73 75 78 76

303 - Kevin Na 72 74 85 72, Cameron Smith (AUS) 74 73 82 74

307 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 72 76 81 78

Read more on:    masters  |  danny willett  |  golf
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