US Masters: Five things you didn't know about Danny Willett

Sheffield-born golfer becomes first Englishman to win tournament since Nick Faldo in 1996

Danny Willett celebrates with the green jacket
(Image credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Danny Willett became the first Englishman to win the Masters since Nick Faldo in 1996, triumphing on a dramatic final day in Augusta that saw the US's Jordan Spieth, who led by five shots at the halfway stage, drop six shots in three holes on the back nine.

Willett was on hand to take advantage and won by three shots. He finished on five under after a round of 67, with Spieth and fellow Englishman Lee Westwood tied for second on two under.

It was his first major win - but what do we know about the 28-year-old Yorkshireman, who turned professional in May 2008 and had just four tournament wins to his name before this weekend?

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Fatherhood suits him

Willett was only competing at Augusta because his first child, Zachariah, arrived on 30 March. His wife, Nicole, was due to give birth at the weekend and the golfer had made it clear he would miss the event to be at the birth.

"I'm looking forward to Augusta, if I get to go play," he had said. "If [Zachariah] fancies coming out early on, it would be great, but if not, I won't be playing."

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He's a vicar's son

Willett's father, Steve, was a Church of England vicar and his mother, Elisabet, a maths teacher. The golfer and his four brothers grew up in Sheffield and as a youngster, he would be taken, "with a fiver for lunch", to the local golf club by his dad, reports the Daily Telegraph.

He rates his father's spiritual advice. "I've been to a few sports psychologists but the best one I know is my dad," he once said.

"To some fans he's a sporting god but that kind of blasphemy wouldn't go down well in the Willett household," says the Daily Mirror.

His brothers have muscled in on his fame

One of Danny's brothers, Peter, became a star on Twitter as the drama unfolded at Augusta, chronicling Danny's progress towards the green jacket in a series of tweets.

He describes himself as an author, teacher and "inexperienced father" and now has more than 14,000 followers on the site.

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Big brother Matthew was also keen to get a slice of the Twitter pie:

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He went to university in the US

Although he left school at 16, Willett attended Jacksonville State in Alabama for two years on a golf scholarship. "Willett was the 2006 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year and won medalist honours in 2007, but ended up leaving America without a degree," reports the Telegraph.

He tripled his career prize money in one weekend

Since turning professional eight years ago, Willett has only played in ten majors and had missed the cut twice in his previous nine. His best finish until the Masters was sixth at the Open in 2015.

"Heading into this week's tournament Willett had accumulated US$677,265 in PGA Tour prize money, which is dwarfed by the $1.8m cheque he’ll receive for his efforts at Augusta," reports The Guardian.

It caps a rapid rise to the top of the game. A year ago, Willett was outside the top 100 but his form over the last 12 months means he went into the Masters ranked 12th in the world - and is now up to nine.

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