Golf: Willett turns his thoughts to No1 spot

By James Corrigan

Masters winner determined not to rest on his laurels after advice from Sir Alex.
England's Danny Willett says his big victory has confirmed his belief he can be the best in the world. Photo / AP
England's Danny Willett says his big victory has confirmed his belief he can be the best in the world. Photo / AP

Danny Willett has vowed not to wallow in his Masters glory, but to follow the advice of Sir Alex Ferguson as he sets out to become world No1.

The English golf champion will take the next four weeks to spend time with his wife, Nicole, and their 2-week-old baby, Zachariah, in their house in Rotherham.

When he resumes at the Players Championship in Sawgrass, he is determined to act on the words of the former Old Trafford manager.

The pair spoke at Willett's party on Monday evening, first joking that Ferguson had lost a bet on Jordan Spieth to retain his title, but then turning to the serious subject of where next for the 28-year-old.

"Fergie had a brilliant piece of advice for me. He said, 'When I was at Manchester United, we never looked back on what we had achieved. We always looked forward. As soon as we win a trophy, it is forgotten about. The next morning we wake up and try to work hard to win the next trophy.'

"It gave me an insight into what a true champion would think and that's how I'm sure Rory [McIlroy], Jordan and Jason [Day] think. They don't rest on their laurels. They are back in the gym working hard or on the range practising, trying to make sure that when they next come out they will be competing."

Willett got to bed after his party at 6am, rising two hours later for a jog. "I had a lot of adrenalin and just decided to go running for 20 minutes on my own with my own thoughts."

Out running, he plotted his path to become world No 1. He is clearly not satisfied with being the top-placed Englishman, having leapfrogged Justin Rose into ninth in the rankings.

"There's eight more steps to go," Willett said.

"I have self-belief and I work incredibly hard and my ambition in my own mind has always been to be world No 1. This obviously gives me more belief that I can do it.

"I guess this does make me part of the conversation with Jordan, Jason, Rory and Rickie [Fowler]. The game is in really good hands for the next 10 to 15 years and fortunately enough I'll be part of it."

It is a lucrative club with the 1.25 million ($2.6 million) first prize just the start of a windfall expected to top 10 million in the next few years.

Willett and his manager, Chubby Chandler, are braced for many offers, but the golfer declared that he will not be "compromised by the cash".

He intends to stick to his plan of joining the PGA Tour next year and will keep to his schedule, which includes next month's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where he will now be the star turn.

"I always look at a tournament not for the money but for the world ranking points. The Masters was worth a lot of money but to me the 100 ranking points I earned is much bigger and take me closer to where I want be in the rankings."

Willett turned down the chance to appear on the New York chat shows to fly home to be with his family.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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