Although he became a professional golfer in 2008, Daniel John Willett, popularly known as just Danny Willett, won his first major championship at the 2016 Masters Tournament, and aside from this milestone boosting his career, he became known as the second Englishman to achieve this feat. He is also the first European in 17 years to win at Augusta National.
Did you know that Danny played golf on a sheep field when he was younger? Learn more about the English professional golfer who plays on the European Tour and has established himself as a champion in his field.
Danny Willett Biography
On 3 October 1987, Danny was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, as one of four brothers. He is apparently descended from a religious, with his father (Steve) serving as a vicar in a church in England. His mother, a Swedish-born woman named Elisabet, taught mathematics as a school teacher.
Admittedly, Danny enjoyed growing up as he practiced golf in the middle of a sheep field where they played a par-three course. Apparently the practice was not without its rewards. Danny had previously secured a golf scholarship and played two seasons for Jacksonville State University (JSU) in the USA.
He made the most of his time at the university and was named Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in 2006. He also won medal recognition at the 2007 OVC Championship and won the 2007 English Amateur Championship as an amateur golfer. In the same year, he also took part in the Walker Cup in Royal County Down. In 2008 he won the title of the number one amateur player in the world.
His Professional Golf Career
Also in 2008, Danny Willett acquired his European Tour card for the 2009 season, after becoming a golf pro. The 2009 season was a successful one for the golfer, who finished 58th in the opening race to Dubai with eight top 10 courses. The following year he challenged at the 2010 BMW PGA Championship and took the lead in the first round. However, he lagged behind and eventually finished fifth with a win of 190,800 Euros. The 2010 season ended in 23rd place in the Order of Merit. This achievement earned him his first place in the top 100 of the official golf world rankings.
Unfortunately, his success in 2011 declined somewhat, but while he ended the season with only one top ten finish in 30 competitions, Danny was able to maintain his tour membership with a final 91st place in the Order of Merit.
His star shone again in 2012 with his first victory on the European Tour at the BMW International Open in Cologne. He finished 23rd in the season’s final Order of Merit after finishing second at the Omega European Masters and third at the Maybank Malaysian Open in addition to three other top-ten finishes.
From 2013 to 2015, Danny Willett carved out a perfect niche for himself as one of Europe’s leading players, collecting seven top-ten finishes and finishing 25th in the Race to Dubai in 2015.
He won his first major championship at the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. He took the prize after shooting a 67 round five-under-par, taking advantage of a Jordan Spieth collapse. He was the first British player to win the Masters tournament in 20 years after Nick Faldo won it in 1996.
In the 2016 season, Danny scored further successes, including his fourth win on the European Tour at the Dubai Desert Classic, second place at the 2016 Italian Open, and third place at the BMW PGA Championship.
Unfortunately, he lost his PGA Tour privileges at the end of the 2016-17 season, following his failure to complete the required fifteen starts.
Family: Wife, Brother
Willett’s parents are Steve (father), a vicar in a church in England, and Elisabet (mother), a Swedish-born woman who was a mathematics teacher. One of his brothers is also a teacher.
Danny’s wife is Nicole Harris, whom he married in 2013. They had their first child (son) in 2016. The baby came in time to motivate him to win the 2016 Masters. The family lives in Rotherham, Yorkshire.
At his Ryder Cup debut, Danny’s brother Peter Willett caused controversy in a National Club golf article by talking inappropriately about the American having no chance of winning. Although he distanced himself and apologized for his brother’s remarks, Danny later took his side after the competition.
Quick Facts About Danny Willet
He was born in 1987 in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
He is the son of a preacher in Sheffield.
When he was younger, he practiced golf in a sheep field.
Before becoming a professional, he was named the world’s number one amateur in 2008.
The professional golfer won his first major championship at the 2016 Masters Tournament and was the first European in 17 years to win at Augusta National.