Willett Brought Back to Earth
Danny Willett was brought back down to earth by his mum after grasping the lead during the second round of The 144TH Open Championship at St Andrews.
No sooner had the 27 year-old Yorkshireman carding a 69 for a nine-under-total of 135 than he received a text from his home town of Sheffield. “She said well done and congratulated me on making the cut,” he said. “It’s her way of keeping me grounded.”
Willett had much to be delighted about because in carding rounds of 66 and 69 he had defied the weather and out-performed a field containing virtually all of the best players in the world.
“I’ve had two really solId rounds of golf,” he said after holing for 8-feet for birdie on the 18TH to card his second round in the 60s. “I’d say the key was the way I have played the back nine. I have hit some solid shots and haven’t put myself in too much trouble or in too much stress. To be two-under-par (over the two rounds) for the back nine is pretty good golf.”
Willett goes into the weekend bidding to become the first Yorkshireman to claim the Claret Jug and he admits he is relishing the challenge.
“It’s a childhood dream to be up there but it’s something I’m going to have to get used to because otherwise there’s no point in being there,” he said. “To see your name at the top of the leaderboard is good and that’s especially true at The Open. I’ve said in other interviews it’s something you need to embrace because you’re going to have a pretty tough weekend if you don’t like being there.”
Willett’s birdie on his final hole was one of four he recorded in the strengthening wind. The first came after he hit a lob wedge to 12-feet on the 2ND and he also added two more on the 5TH and the 9TH to reach the turn in three-under-par 33. He went four-under-par for the day with a six-foot putt for a three on the 10TH before dropping shots with three-putts on both the 15TH and 17TH holes.