Wil­lett re­turns af­ter a mas­ter­ful month off

English­man has only played one full round since Au­gusta win

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Masters cham­pion Danny Wil­lett has been away from golf for a month and has been work­ing harder than ever. Not with his golf clubs but with a pen.

The last box of some 200 yel­low Masters flags ar­rived on Tues­day for Wil­lett to sign for play­ers and char­i­ties, bring­ing the to­tal to what man­ager Chubby Chan­dler es­ti­mated at just short of 1,000 since the 28-year-old from Eng­land slipped on a green jacket.

As for the golf? Not so much. He played 18 holes with his friends at home on Satur­day then nine holes on Mon­day when he showed up at the TPC Saw­grass for The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship. “Only time I’ve been on the golf course in the last month,” said Wil­lett. “A lit­tle rusty. Try and get some work done this week and hope­fully we’ll have shook off a lit­tle bit of that rust.” This was a nice prob­lem to have. Even be­fore he ral­lied from a five-shot deficit to beat Jor­dan Spi­eth on the back nine at Au­gusta Na­tional, Wil­lett had planned a quiet month away from golf with his wife and new­born son to re­lax and do “nor­mal things”. He wasn’t plan­ning on chaos back home in a coun­try cel­e­brat­ing its first Masters cham­pion in 20 years. There were me­dia ap­pear­ances with his green jacket, a trip to the UEFA Cup semi-fi­nal be­tween Liver­pool and Vil­lareal, and an ap­pear­ance at the World Snooker Cham­pi­onship in his home­town of Sh­effield.

“It’s still not sunk in, to be hon­est,” said the 2016 Dubai Desert Clas­sic cham­pion.

Wil­lett plans to bring his green jacket with him wher­ever he plays, and with it comes big ex­pec­ta­tions.

The next few years will de­cide whether he’s more of a cu­rios­ity than a celebrity.

9 Danny Wil­lett is cur­rently ninth in the Of­fi­cial Golf World Rank­ings

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