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MAGICAL WILLETT MASTERS AUGUSTA NATIONAL

High Drama as a walk in the park turns into a titanic disaster for Spieth

Championship as he held off the challenge of Lee Westwood and defending champion Jordan Spieth in a dramatic final round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

The Englishman came into the final round trailing Spieth by three shots, and he was five behind as the American reached the turn looking a near certainty to claim a second wire-to-wire win in as many years.

But while Willett kept his head to sign for a blemish-free 67, Spieth dropped six shots in three holes - including a quadruple bogey on the 12th - to slip three behind the 28 year old and open the door to the rest of the field.

An eagle for Westwood on the 15th meant he was just one shot back but when Willett birdied the 16th to get to five under, he had done enough to become the first European Tour Member to win a Green Jacket since Charl Schwartzel in 2011.

Willett was close to not teeing it up this week with his wife Nicole due to give birth over the weekend but son Zachariah arrived in time and his father went on to claim his second European Tour title of the season.

“It’s been crazy, you can’t really describe the emotions,” he said.

“It’s my wife’s birthday back home today, my son was due today and he came 12 or 13 days early to let me come and play.

You talk about fate, you talk about everything else that goes with it. It’s just been a crazy, crazy week”

“It was tough, every time we seemed to make ground, Jordan kept pulling ahead and were just trying to dig in and dig in and try and make birdies after birdies.

“I thought we had to get to six or seven under and I look at the leaderboard and he’s already at seven.

“It was just a very surreal day when you look back at the ebbs and flows. We’re just fortunate that the shots we hit were correct at that time and we holed a few putts when we needed to.”

Westwood and Spieth finished in a share of second at two under, a shot clear of Paul Casey, J B Holmes and Dustin Johnson.

Matthew Fitzpatrick was at level par after a closing 67 in his first Masters as a professional, alongside Søren Kjeldsen, who fired a 71, and Hideki Matsuyama.

Willett had birdied the sixth and when he made another gain on the eighth coupled with a Spieth bogey on the fifth, the gap was just one shot.

The World Number Two then made those four birdies in a row and looked in imperious form as he aimed to become just the fourth man to defend the Masters title.

But as he bogeyed the tenth and 11th and then put his ball in the water twice on the 12th, Willett took advantage with birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th to write his name in the history books.

Westwood was two under for the day as he stood on the 15th tee and proceeded to make the eagle that gave him hope of a first Major Championship, but a bogey on the 16th effectively ended his chances.

Spieth still had a chance to mount a challenge after birdies on the 13th and 15th before a dropped shot on the 17th left him in a share of second.

Fitzpatrick and Kjeldsen will both be back at Augusta next season after finishing in the top 12, and they finished a shot clear of Rory McIlroy, who made seven birdies and six bogeys, Justin Rose and World Number One Jason Day. 

 

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