Danny Willett, struggling since Masters win, in contention in Portugal

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Danny Willett, struggling since Masters win, in contention in Portugal

Euro Tour

Danny Willett, struggling since Masters win, in contention in Portugal

Danny Willett has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons since winning the 2016 Masters. This week he’s back in the news for the right reason.

Willett’s game has been going only one way since his life-changing victory at Augusta: downhill. He’s struggled to shoot level par ever since, never mind contend to win tournaments. So his 6-under 65 in the second round of the $2.4 million Portugal Masters came as something of a surprise, especially since his last sub-par round was in February, a 67 in the third round of the Maybank Championship.

“I’m working hard,” Willett said. “There’s still a lot of bad shots in there. The good is kind of creeping in, we’re still trying to eliminate a few of the bad rights but the processes are better and what we’re working on is feeling better.”

The 29-year-old in a tie for 19th place at 6 under, six shots off the lead shared by Scotland’s Marc Warren and Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark.

Willett finished fifth in the Maybank, but hasn’t placed better than 39th ever since.

“The tricky thing in golf is that there as such fine margins in what you think is a good move or a bad move, a good strike or a bad strike.

“That’s the reason why we’ve tried to play a few weeks in a row. The work I’ve been doing has felt really good at home on the range, but it’s a whole different ball game when you stand on the first tee and there’s actually consequences to what you are doing.”

Willett has changed caddies and coaches to try to get back to where he was when he won the Masters.

“It’s been nice to actually take it to the golf course today. It’s a funny one, that doesn’t mean we are going to take it tomorrow or Sunday.

“It’s nice that we’ve got a chance now to get a few more rounds under the belt and keep putting the work in on the golf course and seeing about hitting the different shots and if you can do it under the circumstances.”

Willett probably won’t win this week, but somewhere in the top 20 would be a positive step in the right direction after missing five of his last seven cuts and finishing bottom of the field in the two cuts he made.

“All of a sudden you’re not looking behind you at the cutline, you’re looking at what the guys are doing in form, which is a nice feeling. We’ve not really been there for a while.”

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