Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Willett wins Masters after Spieth’s collapse

Published:Monday | April 11, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Danny Willett of England waves to the crowd after winning the Masters golf tournament yesterday in Augusta, Georgia.

AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP):

Danny Willett in a green jacket was hard to believe, considering he wasn't even sure he could play the Masters two weeks ago.

No one was more stunned than Jordan Spieth.

Nine holes away from another wire-to-wire victory, the defending Masters champion threw it away yesterday with a collapse that was shocking even by Augusta National standards. With a five-shot lead heading to the 10th tee, he dropped six shots in three holes and could never catch up.

"It was a really tough 30 minutes for me that, hopefully, I never experience again," Spieth said.

Willett always had Sunday, April 10, circled on his calendar - the due date of his first child. He wasn't planning to be at Augusta National until his wife gave birth to their son, Zachariah James, on March 30, and sent the 28-year-old Englishman on an improbable path to becoming a major champion.

It was a comeback that ranks among the most surprising at the Masters.

Five shots behind with six holes to play, Willett birdied three of his last six holes to polish off a round that might not get its due because of the unforgettable images of Spieth's meltdown. Willett closed with a five-under 67, with no bogeys on his card, to match the best score of the weekend.

He won by three shots at five-under 283, the highest winning score at the Masters in nine years.

Top finishers: 1. Danny Willett (England) -5, 2. Lee Westwood (England) -2, 2. Jordan Spieth (US) -2, 4. Paul Casey (England) -1, 4. John Holmes (US) -1 and 4. Dustin Johnson (US)-1.