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Willett clinches Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for first win in two years

Willett clinches Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for first win in two years

England's Danny Willett during the first round. (Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Naden)

Englishman Danny Willett celebrated his 34th birthday with his first win in more than two years as he held off Joakim Lagergren and Tyrrell Hatton to claim a two-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the St Andrews Old Course on Sunday.

Four birdies on the front nine helped Willett to finish with a four-under 68 and 18-under for the tournament, two better than Swede Lagergren and compatriot Hatton, both of whom faded towards the end as Willett made eight successive pars to seal victory.

Hatton, who led at the halfway stage, birdied his last hole to end with a five-under 67 for the round, while Lagergren fired five birdies on the front nine en route to a six-under 66.

"It's magical, on British soil with everyone here. It's been a great week. It's been a couple of years of average stuff again. I seem to do this a lot actually, go up and down," said an emotional Willett who is set to move back into the top 100 in the world rankings.

"We've been working hard, people don't see it behind the scenes. Obviously my wife does and other people do but it's a good one."

Hatton's Ryder Cup team mate Shane Lowry, who was within three shots of Willett coming into the final round, was another whose form let him down on the greens as he finished tied for fourth at 15 under.

Willett added: "I think it's a good thing that the scoring was low. I had 20 in my head, if I got to 20 no-one could reach it, but both Richard (Bland) and Shane got off to a good start."

"We were hitting a few average shots in and around the turn, and the back nine is brutal as everyone knows. That made you focus a little more because you can't make mistakes."

It has been a tough year for former Masters champion Willett, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March and was rushed to hospital in June with appendicitis soon after playing at the Memorial tournament.

The win on Sunday was his eighth title on the European Tour.

Source: Reuters


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