Danny Willett bags biggest win of his career

Danny Willett is sprayed with champagne as he celebrates victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Picture: Getty

Danny Willett is sprayed with champagne as he celebrates victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Picture: Getty

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Danny Willett picked up the second European Tour title of his career after carding a final-round six-under-par 66 to win the Nedbank Golf challenge in Sun City, South Africa, convincingly.

The Englishman holed six birdies on Sunday to finish 18 under for the tournament and seal a four-shot victory, beating fellow countrymen Ross Fisher and Luke Donald to the prize.

It was a frustrating final round for Donald, who came into the final day leading by a shot on 13 under, but could only close with a one-over 73.

He ended up finishing two shots behind Fisher, who registered seven birdies and three bogeys in a final-round 68.

Marcel Siem finished three shots further back on nine under after shooting a 68, while Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat was fifth on seven under.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher closed with a 72 to finish joint-12th on one-under, while Marc Warren ended up in a share of 26th after he signed off with a 76.

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Willett’s only other victory came at the BMW International Open in 2012 and he put this win down to an aggressive approach. “My caddie John and I spoke at the start of the week and came up with a good game plan, to be aggressive off the tee on this golf course,” he said.

“It’s visually very intimidating, but I’ve been driving the ball really well and we wanted to give ourselves a lot more wedges and nine irons into holes, whereas some guys are just laying back.

“We put a new Callaway driver in the bag a few weeks ago and it’s been tremendous.

“It was just one of those weeks where the swing felt good and it came off. South Africa is a place that’s suited me in the past and I’ve played well golf down here.

“I love the place, love the people – everything about it is great. It’s been a truly fun test of golf.”

Despite not finishing on top, Fisher was pleased with his performance and felt there was little else that he or Donald could have done to prevent Willett’s win.

“I’m delighted,” he said. “I felt like I played great all week, and I finally started to hole a few putts today which was nice, but unfortunately for me and Luke, Danny was too good.

“I’ve been playing some really good golf for a long time and it’s nice seeing the results starting to come.

“I don’t think Luke or I should be too disappointed. We didn’t lose it; Danny went out and won the tournament.”

Donald was obviously disappointed with his final round, but like Fisher was keen to praise the winner.

“There are a lot of positives from the week,” he said. “It’s nice to put myself back in position. I could have played a bit better today, but I still would have had to shoot five under just to tie with Danny.

“He played really focused golf today and hats off, he’s a deserved winner.

“Danny’s putter was red hot – he didn’t seem to miss and did everything really well. He drove it amazingly well on this very tough, tight golf course.”

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