Danny Willett Capitalizes on Spieth’s Collapse to Win the 80th Masters

Augusta National Golf Club has been home to the Masters – a tradition unlike any other – for 80 years.

This year, the field was set at 89 and almost every one of those 89 golfers had their own headline. Jason Day came into the tournament as the world No. 1. Jordan Spieth was looking to put on the green jacket for the second year in a row. Rory McIlroy was attempting to complete the career Grand Slam.

Well, “long story short”, none of those golfers finished at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Danny Willett, a 70/1 bet before the tournament started, won by three strokes.

Willett may have won, but he only led for seven holes…the final seven holes to be exact.

The other 65 holes belonged to Jordan Spieth.

Thursday, Round One: Spieth shot a 6-under 66 and had a two-stroke lead.

Friday, Round Two: Spieth’s 2-over 74 in windy conditions brought his lead down to one.

Saturday, Round Three: Spieth was 2-under through 16 holes, then he bogied the 17th and double-bogied the 18th. A 1-over 73 kept his lead at one.

Entering Masters Sunday: Spieth was 3-under, Smylie Kaufman was 2-under, and only five other golfers at 1-under or even par.

One of those golfers 1-under or even was Danny Willett.

There were signs of hope for those trailing Spieth. He was fighting his swing throughout the week, despite having the lead, he even brought in his swing coach between rounds.

(5:05 p.m.) Spieth’s 4-under on the front nine grew his lead to five strokes. It looked like it was over and Spieth would run away with his second green jacket.

And then the collapse happened…Willett unknowingly continuing with his bogey-free round.

Spieth bogey on 10. Lead at two.

(5:35 p.m.) Spieth bogey on 11. Lead at one.

Then the 12th.

(6:00 p.m.) Before Willett even knew it, he had a three-stroke lead on Lee Westwood, four strokes on Jordan Spieth. He took that lead and finished with a 67 on his scorecard – tied for the lowest round on Sunday.

Photo: Sam Greenwood/Augusta National
Photo: Sam Greenwood/Augusta National 

Twitter had a field day after the quadruple bogey:

 

Spieth attempted a comeback, needing to shoot 4-under on the final six holes to force a playoff. He got birdies on 13 and 15, cutting Willett’s lead to two with three holes left.

The par three 16th hole had already had three hole-in-ones (here, here, and here) on Sunday and Spieth was looking for at least a birdie. He settled for a par and still needed to drop two strokes in the final two holes.

Spieth bogied 17 and the suspense was over.

Danny Willett had never finished better than third in any tournament in his six-year professional golf career. By Sunday night, the 28-year-old Englishman, only eight days after the birth of his first child, had won the 2016 Masters.

To add onto the rough day for Spieth, he still had to stick around to put the green jacket on Willett, twice.

Spieth may have collapsed on three holes, but do not discredit Danny Willett. A five-birdie, bogey-free round of 67 at Augusta National on Masters Sunday is impressive.

Going forward, this Masters win is huge for Willett with confidence, sponsors, and world rankings.
For Spieth, he is still 22 years old. He’s finished second, first, and second, respectively, in his first three Masters. And he is one of the best players in the world, he will learn from this collapse and only get better.