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Published: 09:07 | 11/4/16

Willett reflects on "crazy, surreal win"

Sheffield golfer the first Englishman to win Masters for 20 years

Masters champion Danny Willett says he would not have even competed in Augusta had his wife not given birth to his son early.

Willett's wife Nicole had been due to give birth to the couple's first child on Sunday, but young Zachariah James Willett actually arrived on 29 March, allowing the Sheffield golfer the opportunity to play the tournament.

Willett was the 89th and last golfer to register for the event, amid uncertainty that we would even travel to Georgia, but secured a shock first Major win after taking advantage of a meltdown by defending champion Jordan Speith.

Willett shot a bogey-free five-under-par 67, but was well off the pace with Speith leading by five shots with nine holes to play, until the American dropped six shots in three holes after hitting the water twice at the par-three 12th.

"I'm not quite sure which is better, this day or last Tuesday," Willett, 28, said.

"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.

"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."

Spieth had birdied four successive holes from the sixth to reach the turn with a five-shot lead, and looked set to join Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods in securing back-to-back titles, before suffering a major Masters meltdown.

"It's tough, really tough," the 22-year-old, who has now finished in the top two of the last three Masters, said.

"We still have the confidence that we are a closing team, we can close. I have no doubt about that ability. It was just a very tough 30 minutes for me that I hopefully never experience again."

Speith, who won wire-to-wire last year and looked on course to repeat the feat after leading the first three rounds at Augusta, admits he lost focus after things began to go awry on the back nine.

"Boy, you wonder about not only just the tee shot on 12, but why can't you just control the second shot, you know, and make five at worse, and you're still tied for the lead. Big picture, this one will hurt. It will take a while," he continued.

"I knew the lead was five with nine holes to play. And I knew that those two bogeys weren't going to hurt me. But I didn't take that extra deep breath and really focus on my line on 12. Instead I went up and I just put a quick swing on it."

England's Lee West wood tied with Speth for the runners-up spot, the second of his career, following a three-under-par 69, while Paul Casey was a shot further back.

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