Englishman Danny Willett took advantage of a stunning meltdown by defending champion and runaway leader Jordan Spieth after the turn to win his first major title by three shots at the Masters on Sunday (10 April).
Three strokes behind the pace-setting Spieth going into the final round at Augusta National, an ice-cool Willett closed with a five-under-par 67 to end a 17-year title drought by European golfers at the year’s opening major.
Willett, a four-times winner on the European Tour competing in his second Masters, birdied three of the last six holes to cap off a bogey-free display in sun-bathed but cool conditions and post a five-under total of 283.
He became only the second Englishman to win the coveted Green Jacket, following three-times champion Nick Faldo, and ended a barren title run by Europeans dating back to Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal’s second victory here in 1999.
Spieth, bidding for a second consecutive wire-to-wire win at the Masters and a third major title, had to settle for a share of second place after carding an adventurous one-over 73 that included a quadruple bogey and seven birdies.
The American world number two had stormed five strokes in front with nine holes to play and victory seemingly assured when he bogeyed the 10th and 11th before running up a nightmare seven at the par-three 12th.
Finishing level with Spieth at two under was England’s former world number Lee Westwood who, still seeking a first major title after recording 17 top-10 finishes during a stellar career, returned a 69.