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May 2, 2015

Danny Willett


MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Talk us through your day.  Very long, but very productive.
DANNY WILLETT:  Yeah, it was a long day, obviously the weather has been semi nasty.  It's a little cold now.  Two good matches, lucky enough to win that and then again today, put the pressure in the afternoon on Fleet, yeah, and 4 & 3.

Q.  Moving through with Gary tomorrow?
DANNY WILLETT:  Yeah, don't know much about Gary's game.  Obviously playing good golf, every time I looked up there there's been quite a few up early on the guys.  Just going to have to see what we both bring to the table tomorrow.

Q.  So to watch you out there it looks like I was sort of wondering why you don't win every tournament.  You're moving it both ways, you're putting really well.  Can you give us in broad strokes a little about who you are and where you are in your career?
DANNY WILLETT:  Well, I mean, obviously over in America we've played two handfuls of tournaments.  Been in Europe a long time.  I had a few back problems which is why I have not been here sooner I would say.  It's been on and off for a couple of years, been struggling.  Getting to a place now where I can feel like I can travel and look after myself and make sure it's in good shape.  If the back is good and well, you know, I work very hard back home with Pete Cowen and Matt Walker trying to move the ball both ways and do certain things so you can compete around the world.  27 years old with top 50 in the world and hopefully just trying to keep it up.

Q.  How many years did you lose to back problems?
DANNY WILLETT:  It was a couple where it was bad on and off and I withdrew probably five, six, seven times a year.  And kept my card, obviously worked with it being bad and did all right.  And like I say the last kind of 18 months has been slowly, slowly on the up.  It's at a stage now where it's getting nearly to the stage where I'd say it's back to being good again.

Q.  Do that every day?
DANNY WILLETT:  Yes, twice a day, especially days like this, up at 6:00 this morning, making sure it was all right.  And play 36 holes and do a little bit in the middle and go out and do it again.  It makes for long days.  But if you compete in golf tournaments like this you have to.

Q.  Is it exercises?

Q.  I believe you played three Englishmen?
DANNY WILLETT:  Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Q.  Is that a little surreal?
DANNY WILLETT:  It is a bit weird, especially playing Sully and Fleet, because we're similar in ages.  I didn't play much golf with him as an amateur, he was a couple of years younger than me.  It is strange, my group was two Americans and three English, so had a mixture of around the world people.

Q.  Just going back to the back, what was actually wrong it?
DANNY WILLETT:  I had an edema on L5‑S1.  It was basically the step below a stress fracture.  So it was rest, chiropractor.  Luckily it was caught early enough so it didn't do any damage.  Had to change the swing to make sure that it made it better.  It was just a long, drawn out process, really.

Q.  The changing of the swing, has that taken away length, added length or just‑‑
DANNY WILLETT:  It's very similar.  I'm moving a lot better, though.  Moving a lot stress‑free on the body.  And which, again, you know, the problem was before is I was moving incorrectly whilst the back was bad, and it made it worse and worse and worse.  The more you played the worse it got.  You had to play golf to keep your card.  That's why it was such to'g and fro'g.  And I guess it was nice in the beginning of the year to be able to schedule this year where I can take time off and get prepared properly for the big events like Doral and the Masters and this week.  And it's allowed us to compete.

Q.  How much satisfaction did Doral give you, because you had a really good week there, as well?
DANNY WILLETT:  Doral was good, I didn't play too good golf.  I gave away some silly shots the first two days, and then it was a really good weekend.  It's going to be a fun year.  We said that it opened up lots of doors, obviously being top 50.  And so it was going to be a year of playing a little bit more over here.  When we eventually do get back home, playing in good groups with the big lads and that's the way I want it to be.

Q.  A lot has been made of the fight tonight, did you have tickets to the fight?
DANNY WILLETT:  If all would have gone terribly wrong today I would have been going.  But Lee has got the ticket.  Basically it was either me or Lee was going to go.  It's going to be a good fight.  A shame to miss it.  But for me it's obviously good being here.

Q.  When you look at this field, 16 golfers have‑‑ 60 golfers have gone home, what does it mean to you to be one of the final four men standing?
DANNY WILLETT:  It's good.  Me and Johnny were having a giggle obviously getting into today, this morning, we were saying the worst we could finish is tied ninth.  Then one this morning said the worst we could finish is tied 5th.  So, yeah, it is good.  It's good.  Tomorrow it's a new day.  Let's hope we win the game, again.

Q.  I think you were being out driven by Fleetwood and I think you'll probably be out driven tomorrow, how much does this matter on the course?  A lot of big hitters says this sets up nicely for me.  But you seem to not be phased by it?
DANNY WILLETT:  No, me and Fleet are very similar, predominantly around this golf course if you hit a driver, it's a pretty big help.  So, yeah, tomorrow I think for sure I'll probably be behind him, but as long as you're in the fairway, I'll take being in the fairway, which I've done over the last few days quite nicely.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:  Danny, good luck tomorrow.  Thanks for joining us.
DANNY WILLETT:  Thank you.

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