Danny Willett Reveals What Almost Kept Him Back From The Masters
18 April 2016
– by RAZC
On Sunday, thousands of Americans across the country were left speechless when Danny Willett practically appeared out of nowhere, surging past Jordan Spieth to win the 2016 Masters Tournament.
And just 48 hours after winning one of America’s greatest competitions, the victorious professional golfer made a shocking confession.
I’ll admit, I was heartbroken as I watched Spieth helplessly lose to a European golfer. But there are few things about the professional golfer from England that many don’t know.
The 28-year-old Willett from Sheffield, Yorkshire, is the first European to bring home the coveted Green Jacket in 17 years.
But there’s no obnoxious bragger here — Willett is as humble as they come. And after learning more about him, I’ve gotta’ admit that I’ve grown to like him quite a lot.
Danny believes in God. And if you meet him in person, you’ll quickly realize that he is first and foremost a family man.
Danny Willet (aka: “Son of a Preacher Man”) has come a long way, both figuratively and literally—speaking, since the first time he swung a golf club in northern Wales at 11-years-old.
Willett is the third of four sons. His father, Steve, is a retired Church of England pastor, and his mother, Elisabet, a math teacher. Over the years, the golfer has gotten used to the term, “The son of a preacher,” like the Dusty Springfield song.
Manager Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler credited Willett’s parents for his character. He told BBC, “He’s a confident lad, he has been brought up unbelievably well. His dad is a vicar and his mum is Swedish; it’s a nice mixture of the two. Danny does things right, says his please and thank you’s.”
Little Danny’s two older brothers were the ones who first introduced him to the sport of golf. It was “the only game he could ever beat them at growing up,” he told the Daily Mail. And needless to say, it didn’t take long for the Willett family to recognize Danny’s God-given gift.
Willett’s proud dad shared that he first recognized Danny’s potential at an early age after playing golf on holiday in Wales.
Danny’s father, Rev. Willett shared, “We came to Anglesey every year for holiday and I would spend the mornings playing golf with the kids. There was one particular course that was a little tiny pitch and putt. He also had a lesson there and I thought, ‘This guy’s got something.’
By the time he was 12, he was out driving me by 70 yards. But it wasn’t just his play. He understood things like shaft rises and stiffness and he just knew about golf… I stopped playing with him after a while because it was embarrassing.”
Willett’s father would often talk his wife into letting Danny skip school so that he could practice.
He shared, “Every Wednesday – my wife used to argue with me – I’d take him to a golf club, drop him off, pick him up at 8 o’clock at night and get told off for keeping him off school.”
Mrs. Willett joked that her husband used to write “the most appalling” excuses for letting him skip class.
She said, “He used to say Danny wasn’t in school yesterday, but he’s here today, and that used to be it for years and years. But the PE department, the better he got the more they supported him, so the school in the end was fantastic.”
Thanks to his parents’ love and guidance, Danny learned early on not to let his golf swing determine his day.
Willlett told the Daily Mail, “I had a normal life growing up where golf was hardly mentioned and I’m so grateful for that. My parents would drop me off at the golf club and give me a fiver for lunch but when I came home, a good day wasn’t about whether I’d shot 65, but whether I was all right. You see these parents force the game down the throats of their kids and it’s so destructive. I’ve been to a few sports psychologists, but the best one I know is my dad, because what he says is so grounded, and it’s about whether you’re doing right or wrong.”
It’s no wonder that Willett won the Masters — he’s used to even the rowdiest of crowds. I’ve never tried to play golf amongst a herd of sheep, but I would imagine it’s pretty tricky.
Willett shared, “We used to go to Anglesey to play a par three course in the middle of a sheep field. You skip it forward 17 years and you’ve got an invite to the Masters. It’s just a bit crazy really.”
Despite being born and raised as a Yorkshireman, at 16-years-old he quit his local college course after a month: “I hated it,” he said. Willett went on to attend Jacksonville State in Alabama for two years on a golfing scholarship.
Willett ended up leaving America without a degree. But in 2007, Willett’s life began to look up. Danny won the English Amateur Championship enabling him to turn pro the following year.
It’s safe to say that Willett’s hard work over the last two years has paid off. In 2014, Willett was 132nd in golf — fast forward to today: he’s ranked ninth in the world and the Green Jacket speaks for itself.
But despite his God-given talent and love for golf, Willett puts his family first. After winning the Dubai Desert Classic in February, the first thing Willett did was buy his parents a new house.
“It’s got a few acres, with sheep, chickens and all that, so he and my mum are very happy,” said Danny, smiling. “That’s the really nice side of what I do.”
In 2013, Willett married the love of his life, Nicole. And though she doesn’t share in Willett’s natural knack for golf, the two are virtually inseparable.
The adorable pair can often be found on a quiet golf course somewhere, as Nicole faithfully stands by her man’s side, and encourages him along the way — she is his constant cheerleader.
Last year, Nicole caddied for Danny at The Masters Par 3 Contest, so that she could remain by his side.
But after his big victory on Sunday, Willett confessed that he almost didn’t attend the Masters.
Being the family man that he is, Willett was prepared to turn down a prestigious invite to the Masters for one little reason — one tiny, little, adorable reason: his son.
Nicole Willett’s due date was April 10, and Willett had planned to skip the Masters if his wife didn’t give birth before the tournament.
He shared: “If Nic hasn’t given birth before the first round, I won’t be going,” he said. “It would be too close to the due date, and too far to get back. Obviously in an ideal world, we’ll have a smooth, early birth and I can get out there, even if I don’t fly until Tuesday or Wednesday, because it’s not a tournament you really want to miss. But if not, there will be other Masters.”
But clearly, God had bigger plans — they welcomed their son Zachariah (which means: “Jehovah Has Remembered”) James Willett on March 30 – 11 days before he was due and just in time for Opening Day. This enabled the proud papa to fly out just in time for the tournament that would change their lives forever.
For the first time, Willett would compete without his beautiful wife by his side. But he pressed on knowing she and their newborn son were praying and cheering from across the pond.
And Nicole wasn’t the only one cheering him on, Willett’s proud brothers (and former caddies) successfully blew Twitter up with hilarious words of encouragement for their little bro.
Being the family man that he is, while waiting in the clubhouse for Spieth to finish out the final round, Willett called his wife.
It was just before midnight in Yorkshire when Willett and his wife shared the victorious moment of a lifetime when he was announced the winner. And Nicole was there right by his side, as she always is — via Facetime.
Willett’s proud wife took to Twitter to break the exciting news to friends and family back in Yorkshire.
The Yorkshire underdog exploded with joy upon hearing the news of his victory,
“I’m not quite sure which is better, this day or last Tuesday. I always said that I wouldn’t come here if he wasn’t born by now, which stuck. Fortunately enough, he listened to my prayers and he came early. People were saying, ‘Try to bring the Green Jacket home for the little man.’ It’s a bit big but I am sure he will grow into it.
It’s just been the most ridiculously awesome 12 days I guess. Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now, but words definitely can’t describe how I was feeling last Tuesday when you get to hold something that me and my wife have made. It’s just been incredibly surreal.”
Despite winning one of America’s most prestigious tournaments, Willett shared that his Faith is more important to him than his golf. In fact, Willett acknowledged that Jesus is the only thing worth living for, and he refuses to become a slave to golf.
“I am a Christian – I was brought up in a Christian family – but a lot of the Americans take it [golf] slightly over the top at times,” said Willett in an interview with the Daily Express. “I think He has bigger things to deal with than whether I shoot 65 or not at the US PGA.”
In a world full of celebrities and athletes who are willing to sacrifice their Faith and family in trade for their career, Willett’s devotion to God and his family is a beautiful thing.
Thank you, Danny Willett, for allowing your life to be a living testimony and example! America needs more loyal, family men of Faith like you! Please share if you agree!
Article source: qpolitical.com