Stormy start to the Masters week as practice halted

Rachel Hardy
April 8, 2017

Danny Willett believes the past 12 months have made him "impatient" for success and is hoping for a change in fortune at the Masters.

Willett, 29, shot a flawless 67 in the final round at Augusta a year ago to win his first major title.

The prevailing view, though, is that this year's defending champ will not come almost as close to succeeding as Spieth did.

His victory at the WGC Match Play tournament previous year was his third title in three starts, continuing a dominating 12-month streak for the American. "Achieving what I did previous year and performing under pressure how I did on Sunday [covering the last six holes in three-under as he carded a flawless 67 to finish three shots ahead of his compatriot, Lee Westwood, and defending champion Jordan Spieth], you come away and if you don't do that every time, you get a bit annoyed". His best finish since the calendar turned over was a tie for fifth at the Maybank Classic, an Asian-European Tour event with a weaker field than any tournament played on this side of the Atlantic this year. "We took the mark away and walked around having a look and had a gust come through and knocked it eight foot back onto the fringe".

"Augusta is unique in many, many ways in that it's all about finding out where the pin is before we start the hole", he said.

Willett is in danger of missing the cut and becoming the first defending champion to do so since Mike Weir in 2004.

"If you can't do that every time, you become a bit impatient".

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In trying to achieve that goal, Day could be accused of trying too hard and letting his emotions dictate his game during his past three Masters starts.

"Same as today, when you hit a few good ones you don't really make the most of it", he said.

Willett followed up Thursday's double-bogey 6 on the dastardly starting hole with a quad-8 on Friday that probably knocked him out of the tournament.

Nobilo, meanwhile, will be back in the TV tower, wondering what drama will unfold this year at the hole named Golden Bell.

The pressure to perform to one's best is there for all, but when your best is Masters champion, that pressure can be punishingly burdensome.

The 25-year-old from High Wycombe feels the record contingent will benefit from a collective surge of confidence that Willett's surprise win brought among his contemporaries. "I don't think it's necessarily watching, but making sure you're doing your homework and you know what you're doing".

"Unfortunately - well, not unfortunately, with how things went - we had a lot of things to do when we got back from Augusta and then we played a little bit more".

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