It was a tough two days for Willett, starting with Thursday’s opening round double bogey and bogey to be three over after just two holes before battling his way back to a respectable 73.
There was then disappointment again at the first on day two yesterday with Willett’s ball coming to rest close to the right side of the carnivorous bunker down the right side of the first.
It would have been an easy left-handed shot but Willett was forced to take his stance virtually on tip toes and in playing the shot, that went right into the crowd, he lost balance falling backwards into the bunker.
Willett showed his frustration by slapping his right hand on his leg.
Danny Willett endured a tough two days at The Masters
Thomas Bjorn offered some kind words for Danny Willett
His second shot had come to rest under a tree and with a marshal politely asking: “Is there anything you want?” Willett was heard to say: “I could do with this tree being removed”.
Willett then went from playing his third to among patrons gathered around the left side of the green, hitting his fourth off the green and some 50-foot just off the front of the green before walking away with a ‘fat lady’ quadruple bogey eight.
It put Willett six over par in two rounds for the first hole.
In his prior eight rounds playing the first, Willett had been just three over, while a year ago he produced three pars at the first and just the one bogey, on day four.
English golfers at the 2017 Masters
Tue, April 4, 2017
Express Sport runs through the field of English golfers chasing the green jacket at the 2017 Masters
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Express Sport runs through the English golfers competing at the 2017 Masters
He walked off the course some four-and-a-half hours later with a 78 to be in the clubhouse at seven over par sharing 66th place and knowing he must now wait to late Sunday to fit the green jacket to the newest Masters champion.
Bjorn is at Augusta, and for a first time without his golf clubs since 2015, as part of the SKY commentary team.
“Danny’s a great individual and he’s shown he is a great golfer,” said Bjorn. “However much has happened in his life in the space of some 12 months and they have been life-changing issues.
“He became a father, he won a Major, so he’s gone from being not just Danny Willett and the very talented young golfer from Sheffield up into superstar stature in the game.
Willett carded a quadruple-bogey on the first hole on day two
“He’s then had to deal with the last 12 months and everything that goes with and is expected of a Masters champion, so naturally it was going to impact on his golf, as we have seen.
“But in saying that, Danny’s handled his responsibility admirably including hosting what clearly was going to be a very emotional ‘Former Champions Dinner’.
“However, I’m sure that when this Masters is over Danny Willett will be looking forward to simply getting back to being the golfer Danny Willett. He’s always going to be a Masters champion and can sit back knowing that he has a tee time at Augusta National as long as he’s still walking.”