Willett back on track
Danny Willett has seen his whole life change since he finished tied sixth in The Open last year at St Andrews.
On that occasion the 28-year-old Englishman played the last round alongside Zach Johnson and he firmly believes watching the eventual winner at close quarters was an important factor in his subsequent win at this year’s Masters.
“The one thing that’s impressive about Zach is that he never changes his game plan for anyone,” he said. “He just does his own thing. He stayed incredibly patient all day. He waited for a few good chances and then took them when they came along.
“What I learned from him was just play you own game,” he added. “You don’t have to do anything different. The reason why you’re in that position is because you’re a really good player so you need to do what you’re good at and hopefully that’s good enough on a Sunday afternoon.
“Zach typifies that 100 percent. It definitely helped to watch him a first hand and to see how he handled himself and the pressure.
“I definitely learned a lot.”
Willett has been on another learning curve since winning at Augusta and he freely admits his form has dipped a bit as he has learned to cope the additional pressures placed on a Major Champion.
“It’s been a bit of a balancing act,” he admitted. “It’s been good fun but you’ve got to be careful to get your priorities right. You’ve got to strip it back and look at what got you there in the first place. You’ve got to make sure you’re working hard and for the right reasons.
“Some guys when they start to struggle will sack their caddie, sack their coach or get a new psychologist. I had a pretty brutal and honest conversation with myself about what I’d been doing. I asked myself if I was working out enough and putting enough time in. I asked myself if I’d been dedicating myself properly.
“We’ve have a few tough moments in the last couple of months but now we’re getting back up there and I’m looking forward to the week. It’s a great golf course. I think it’s a fantastic Open venue and a fantastic test of golf.”