Danny Willett claimed his first win since the 2016 Masters with victory in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Willett carded a final round of 68 at Jumeirah Golf Estates to finish 18 under par, two shots ahead of fellow Englishman Matt Wallace and current Masters champion Patrick Reed.
The 31-year-old from Sheffield had not tasted victory since winning his first major title at Augusta National and had slumped from a career-high of ninth to outside the world’s top 450 earlier this season after numerous injuries and a loss of form.
Willett credits coach Sean Foley – who formerly coached Tiger Woods – and fitness trainer Kev Duffy for his resurgence, first teaming up with Foley at last year’s US PGA Championship when he admitted he was “pretty low and open to trying anything” to save his career.
The move paid off and Willett was slowing climbing the world rankings with three top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season, including a tie for seventh in Turkey a fortnight ago.
Having started the final round in a share of the lead with Reed, Willett surged three shots clear with a long-range eagle on the par-five second and a birdie on the seventh.
That lead was wiped out after bogeys on the 10th and 12th, but Willett responded brilliantly to birdie the 14th, 15th and 17th before a heart-stopping moment on the last, where his drive somehow finished inches short of the creek which runs the length of the hole.
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