Masters 2016: Danny Willett pips Jordan Spieth to Green Jacket at Augusta

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Masters final leaderboard (US unless stated)
-5 D Willett (Eng) -2 L Westwood (Eng), J Spieth; -1 P Casey (Eng), JB Holmes, D Johnson; Level M Fitzpatrick (Eng), S Kjeldsen (Den), H Matsuyama (Jpn)
Selected others: +1 J Day (Aus), J Rose (Eng), R McIlroy (NI); +5 J Donaldson (Wal); +6 B Langer (Ger)
Full leaderboard

Danny Willett claimed a shock Masters win with a superb five-under-par 67 as 2015 champion Jordan Spieth crumbled during a thrilling final round.

The Englishman, 28, won his first major by three shots on five under to become the first British victor in 20 years.

Overnight leader Spieth, 22, led by five shots as he approached the 10th at Augusta, but the American dramatically dropped six shots in three holes.

He ended with a one-over 73, tying for second with England's Lee Westwood.

Westwood's three-under-par 69 gave him his second Masters runners-up finish on two under, with Paul Casey, another Englishman, one shot further back in a tie for fourth.

Spieth will be left ruing a remarkable collapse on the iconic par-three 12th.

He twice found the water in front of the green as he carded a quadruple bogey seven - to follow successive bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes.

That catapulted Sheffield's Willett, who was playing the par-five 15th, into the outright lead - a lead that he would not relinquish after signing for the joint-lowest round of the final day.

Willett's rapid rise

Willett is one of the golf's rising stars, having climbed from outside the top 100 to inside the top 10 in less than two years.

But few would have predicted a first major win in only his second appearance on the unforgiving Augusta course, especially because his participation at the Masters had been in doubt, with wife Nicole due to give birth on the final day.

However, the early arrival of baby Zachariah meant Willett, who said he would have stayed at home if his son had not been born, was able to play.

Willett lay three shots adrift of Spieth on level par going into Sunday after opening rounds of 70, 74 and 72.

But he moved to within a stroke with a birdie at the eighth, his eagle putt just coming up short, on his way to a front-nine 34.

Three successive pars from the 10th and birdies on the 13th and 14th saw him move into the lead as Spieth stumbled.

A further birdie on the par-three 16th kept him clear of the field as he completed one of only two bogey-free final rounds.

Who is Danny Willett?
The son of a vicar, he was born on 3 October, 1987 in Sheffield
Left school at 16 but later attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama on a golfing scholarship
Won the 2007 English Amateur Championship and in early 2008 became the world's top-ranked amateur
Turned professional in 2008 and clinched his first European Tour victory at the 2012 BMW International Open in Germany
Won twice on the European Tour in the 2015 season and made his Masters debut where he finished tied 38th
Captured his fourth European Tour victory at the Dubai Desert Classic in February

The world number 12, who rises to ninth after this win, received a standing ovation as he walked towards the 18th green, on the verge of emulating fellow Englishman Nick Faldo, who won his third and final Green Jacket in 1996.

There was still a nervous wait for Willett though with Spieth needing to birdie the last two holes to force a play-off.

However, the Texan bogeyed the par-four 17th after finding a greenside bunker with his approach, allowing Willett to start his celebrations early.

Spieth was given a sympathetic reception as he trudged towards the clubhouse after a par four on the last but it was no consolation for the emotional two-time major winner.

As Masters tradition dictates, the world number two then had to help Willett into the Green Jacket.

"It's been crazy," said Willett. "You can't really describe the emotions and feelings.

"We all try to play good golf and someone has to win. Fortunately today it was my day. It was a very surreal day when you look back at the ebbs and flows."

Danny Willett wins the 2016 Masters
....when Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal took the Green Jacket in 1999

Spieth's remarkable meltdown

Spieth was aiming to become only the fourth back-to-back winner at Augusta.

He stood on the 10th tee with a five-shot lead after four straight birdies, only to see that advantage dwindle to one by the time he walked onto the 12th.

Dropped shots at the 10th and 11th, coupled with birdies for Willett just ahead on the 13th and 14th, resulted in a four-shot swing.

Then came Spieth's remarkable meltdown at the 12th.

The world number two planted his tee shot into into Rae's Creek, then clubbed a heavy second attempt into the water, before hitting his fifth shot into the bunker at the back of the green.

He managed to get up and down in two shots from there, but the damage was done.

"It was just a lack of discipline coming off the two bogeys instead of realising I was still leading the Masters by a couple of shots," said Spieth.

"I have no doubt about my ability to close majors, I just think it was a very tough 30 minutes that hopefully I don't experience again."

English invasion

Willett was not the only Englishman to impress in the final round.

Westwood, who also finished second in 2010, moved into contention with three birdies before the turn.

An chip-in eagle on the par-five 15th put the former world number one, 42, within a shot of Willett, only for a bogey on the next and two final pars to leave him short.

Lee Westwood finish tied second at the 2016 Masters
Westwood claimed his ninth top-three finish at a major - without winning one of the prizes

Former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey and young Yorkshireman Matt Fitzpatrick, the only two in the 57-man field to match Willett's final-round 67, finished tied fourth and tied seventh respectively.

Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, finished in a tie for 10th on one over, alongside Northern Ireland's four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and Australia's world number one Jason Day.

McIlroy struggles

McIlroy started the week bidding to become only the sixth man to win all four majors, but his chances of overhauling the rest of the field were slim after a third-round 77 left him five shots adrift of the lead.

The Northern Irishman then bogeyed the first after pushing a nervy opening tee-shot right into the trees.

The world number three, 26, birdied the third to go back level but slipped back again with dropped shots on the next two holes.

He finished with a scrappy round of 71 thanks to seven birdies and six bogeys.

"This is the one that I haven't won and this is the one I want to win more than anything else," said the former Open, US PGA and US Open champion.

"Once I overcome that mental hurdle that I'm struggling with at the minute, then I know how to play this course."

German veteran Bernhard Langer, whose only major wins came at Augusta in 1985 and 1993, began two shots off the lead and dreaming of becoming the oldest major champion by a decade.

But the 58-year-old former world number one made a nightmare start, bogeying the first and dropping two more on the third.

Four more bogeys left him tied 24th.

It was a more memorable day for Ireland's Shane Lowry, US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love and 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who all claimed holes-in-one on the par-three 16th.

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