February 7, 2016
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Congratulations, just give us your reaction, I suppose, to another very special victory.
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, just ecstatic. You can't -- you can't buy that feeling, you know, what it's like, coming down the back nine, the back three, in contention of a golf tournament. Me and John have a giggle about it and just said, it's something that you can't pay for in life. You've got to earn it.
Obviously coming down the last with all the situations that were going on: Sully just birdied, Rafa hit it on. Just nice to know that I can dig deep there and produce what I can.
Q. What was the putt like? What did it look like after you lined it up?
DANNY WILLETT: It was all right. It was one where I got down there and saw a nice line pretty quickly, but you know, you've still got to hit it on that line and obviously roll at a good pace and stuff. It was about two and a half cups out left, downhill breaking left-to-right. Yeah, I mean, it's nice -- it would have been nice to have 240 but just finishing in that way again, was brilliant.
Q. I'm sure any tournament victory is great, but to win like that, is that as good as it gets?
DANNY WILLETT: It is, yeah, it's always nice, you'd love to win by five or six every time you win, but when you win like that in that fashion, it does feel that little bit extra special, when the pressure is on, being able to produce -- to produce the goods, I guess.
It's obviously a relatively daunting last hole. We needed to make a four or a five to win. So just delighted with, like I say, with how I dug and obviously found it.
Q. You won the last couple of events towards the end of the season. What's it going to do now going into the WGCs and majors with this big win under your belt so early in the year?
DANNY WILLETT: It's always great to come out early in the season and win. And obviously last year with Nedbank, you obviously can't beat the first week out.
And it's just good. It's nice to know that the stuff I'm doing is working and my schedule choice, obviously choosing not to accept a PGA Tour card and trying to stay over here in Europe. It's nice to get off to a quick start because it's going to give me some key time off with Nicki's birth, and obviously we're going to be well up there in the World Rankings for Rio and for The Ryder Cup. It just means it eases off the schedule I guess.
Q. Watching you, it seems as though there's an aura and confidence about you just now, do you feel that in yourself, and when did you feel you arrived at that position in terms of the confidence?
DANNY WILLETT: This week I've been very good all week. I flew out here Monday, relatively late I guess, because I had done some good work at home. And yeah, I've put the time in at home, work in the gym. It doesn't always travel with you or come with you. And it was nice to kind of keep the good feelings going from last week. Played great in practise.
Everything I've done has been really good this week and mentally I think I've been as good as I have for a long, long time, stayed patient, let things happen. Again, I thought it was going to slip a little bit. We got monitored on I think about 13 or 14 today. We were rushing a little bit there and made that silly bogey down 14.
But no, just delighted, again, with obviously the finish.
Q. Do you feel when your name's up on that leaderboard now, other players look and now you're not going to be knocked off there easily?
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, I guess so. In the match-play events we've played, we've been pretty good. And obviously the stroke-play events now where we've had a share of the lead or a lead going into Sunday, we've kind of come through. Winning and losing, there's such a miniscule difference between it. It's just about putting yourself in that position as many times as possible. Some days you get lucky like today and some days you don't.
So no, I think it's just being in and around the last couple groups on a Sunday to have a chance to win, in my mind, that's a victory, if you can polish it off with a W, then great and if not you've still got to pat yourself on the back and give yourself a good job for actually being up there.
Q. You mentioned Rio and you've got a baby on the way. Wondering how is the emergence of the Zika virus, has that affected your thinking in terms of preparation for the Olympics?
DANNY WILLETT: No. My wife -- it only affects pregnant women. She's not coming. She'll have given birth by then. Yeah, I'm not -- plus I don't think she's coming anyway. So, no, not really.
Q. As an outsider looking in, England born golfers are an a roll real, Ryder Cup points, there's five in the top eight qualifiers in The Ryder Cup at the moment. Just wondering what it is about the England-born golfers, why they are dominating and doing so well on The European Tour?
DANNY WILLETT: I think you just get them veins of players, don't you. They had it with, what was it, Casey, Donald, similar kind of years. Obviously my era in terms of GB&I, England with myself, Sully, Woody, Fitz is obviously a bit young and you have Rory and Shane in there obviously playing for different countries.
When we were at the Home Internationals ten years ago, I mean, it was pretty strong teams from all countries. And I think that the England lads, they are kind of just feeding off each other. You look at the likes of Sully and Woody and myself, and Fitzy in the EurAsia Cup, it was good fun to be in and around it, having a good craic and a good bit of banter with the lads. I think for the next few years, we're going to be the ones that are trying to beat each other, which are good.
Q. What's your schedule for the next few weeks?
DANNY WILLETT: Going home tonight and then I'm going to play Malaysia and then another week off and Doral, Valspar, another week off and the match play and then it's baby time.
Q. On a similar theme to Bernie's question, the last generation, you've got pretty big shoes to fill, haven't you, with Donald and Westy getting to world No. 1 and rose winning the U.S. Open --
DANNY WILLETT: I missed them out, didn't I. Rosie, Westy, Poults, yeah (laughter).
Q. Can this group get to those heights?
DANNY WILLETT: I believe so. I think that European golf is strong. It's young but it's really strong. I think you saw that in the EurAsia Cup; that you just had a really thirsty group of lads there. I think the Americans have gone through that already, that phase, and you've got Patrick Reed and Spieth and everyone there.
So I think we are kind of going through that transition now, and I just think that the likes of myself -- like I said, the young British lads are just going to keep progressing, and I can see it being very competitive for the next few years.
Q. Considering that you finished second to Rory in The Race to Dubai last year, and now that you have taken one of the trophies from his hand, is that No. 1 European Tour crown, how big a motivation is that now to get it done this year?
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, it's good. I think any year where you can be in and around the Top-10 all year and give yourself a chance come The Final Series to win the Order of Merit is brilliant.
I mean, we still -- what is it, February 7, it's still early days to talk about the Race to Dubai. But yeah, we've certainly put ourselves nicely up there to fight for the top again. I think once you get that feel of how it was last year and how it felt to be in and around it, you know, all week in Dubai and how it felt to not pull it off; yeah, it would be good. There can only be one winner every year. It just shows the consistency that you've done all throughout the year. Hopefully we can get backup somewhere near.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Congratulations again.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports