Professional / PGA Tour

After match-play struggles, sources say Danny Willett to play in Masters

Danny Willett
Danny Willett at 2016 WGC-Dell Match Play. (Getty)

AUSTIN, Texas – Danny Willett came to the Texas capital as one of the players to watch in the WGC-Dell Match Play. Instead, the Englishman will do the watching, as he is guaranteed to miss the Round of 16 after losing his match Thursday to Billy Horschel, 3 and 2.

Willett, who is 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking, was the highest seed in his group. Instead of living up to his ranking, he halved his first match on Wednesday with South African Jaco Van Zyl, the 52nd-ranked player in the world, and then lost to Horschel.

Add in the fact that Willett had progressed to and won the consolation match last year, defeating Jim Furyk, 3 and 2, and it clearly has not been Willett’s week.

“We literally holed nothing in two days,” Willett said of his performance on the greens at Austin Country Club. “Unfortunately in match play that is the one thing you’ve got to do, especially when it’s as windy as it is.”

Now Friday will be his last warmup before Augusta.

Much had been made of whether the Englishman would make the trip down Magnolia Lane, as his wife is expecting their first child during the week of the April 7-10 Masters. But, sources said Willett will make the trip to Augusta in two weeks.

However, Willett hopes Friday proves to be better than Thursday’s misadventure.<br />

“We hit a lot of golf shots today through 11 holes, and we holed one putt and we were 1 under par,” Willett said. “If you are hitting 10 greens and you’re only 1 under par on the golf course/tournament, whatever you want to call it, you are not really going to be doing anything.”

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