Danny Willett has revealed seeking quiet relief amid the madness of the Masters was the secret to winning his Green Jacket.
The Sheffield star, who is back in the USA preparing for the defence, won his first Major title in sensational style after starting the back nine five shots behind Jordan Spieth.
But while the American made a quadruple-bogey seven at the 12th as he twice found Rae’s Creek, Willett held his nerve to win by three shots witht a bogey-free 67. But he admitted he could not hold his bladder after hearing the crowd reaction to Spieth’s embarrassing accident.
“We were on the 15th green when we realised what had happened at 12 – we heard it from the two or three big grandstands around the green,” he recalled.
“I had needed to go for a few holes but it’s pretty difficult to just go in the trees at Augusta. You don’t want to get in too much trouble. It was the first bathroom we had seen in a while.
“You look back at it, it was quite nice: I had a couple of minutes of silence in the bathroom with no one there and I said to myself: ‘Look, this is what you practise for. You’ve got to make five good swings and hole a couple of putts and see what happens. You’re in this position and this is what you want to do’. You’ve got to handle your emotions to allow you to play well.”
Willett has not won since but he watched highlights of his greatest triumph to get back in the mood before this week Bay Hill this week – the tournament always hosted by the late Arnold Palmer.
And the Yorkshireman said a letter from Arnie had been one of the highlights of his year as champion.
“It was nice to get that from a legend of the game,” he said. “I think Bay Hill this week is going to be pretty emotional.”
Willett suffered a backlash at the Ryder Cup when his brother Peter mocked the bad behaviour of US golf fans. But he is not expecting any reaction from the genteel folk of Georgia.
“Obviously I have been in America and played a couple of events and the American fans have been great, as you would expect,” said the world No 14. “The Augusta patrons are the best kind of fans around – they want to see everyone play good golf and they want to see the best player that week win. I am really looking forward to getting back there.”