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May 17, 2016

Danny Willett

Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thanks for joining us. Welcome, Danny.

DANNY WILLETT: How are you?

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Not bad. Masters Champion in the house.

DANNY WILLETT: Sounds all right.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Bring us up to speed on the last month of your life.

DANNY WILLETT: I've just been busy. You know, a lot of commitments you've got to do on and off the golf course. No one really prepares you for that. You can't quite understand what guys like Rory and Jordan and stuff go through until you experience it yourself. To actually realise time management has taken a whole different role, I guess and really trying to get everything sectioned off and do things correctly. It's been a busy four weeks.

Got back to it last week at the PLAYERS. Didn't quite go as planned. Obviously with the rain delay and stuff in there didn't help, but still feeling a little bit tired and you know, just kind of getting really used to what we've done and actually being around it, and think like I said, kind of split your time accordingly. You can't be selfish anymore and just practising all day and doing what you want to do. You might say -- if you said you've got to be somewhere or do some media, obviously you've got to go do it.

So yeah, just getting used to everything really. But great to be back here. Great to be back in Europe, supporting Rory's event, Rory Foundation, Irish Open and hopefully we can have a good week here.

Q. When do you think you're going to get used to this, because it's probably going to take a bit of time, isn't it?
DANNY WILLETT: I think it's one of them that the more weeks that go on and the more weeks that other guys win events and stuff like that, it kind of settles down each week. But you've got to embrace it, enjoy it. You know what we did, it kind of comes part and parcel, which is still fantastic.

But yeah, it's just getting used to it like I said and really just getting your days planned and making sure you give the correct amount of time to certain things to make sure that people get the right interviews, the right media; but also gives you time at home with your family but also gives you time to practise. Like I said, it's just kind of getting used to time management really.

Q. Have you spent much time at home? You've obviously got the baby to worry about, as well.
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, there has been a lot of stuff at home but with that, instead of doing interviews away from home and away from tournaments, I've actually got people to come to the house to do it to make it easier to look after him and help Nic out whilst doing that, so trying to kill two birds with one stone a lot of the time.

Q. What's your goal this week as regards to on the golf course, because as you said, last week didn't go as you wanted it to go.
DANNY WILLETT: I'm not sure really. I had a good practise yesterday with Mike and Pete, trying to iron some things out, done a little bit this morning. Obviously speak to you guys, and then go hit some more balls and go play the golf course, see what it's like. I've never played it. Obviously I watched the 2006 Ryder Cup and the golf course looks good. Hopefully weather is good for the week.

Yeah, almost try to not really put too much expectation on doing anything particularly fantastic. Just really trying to get some rust out of the system. I think I took 3 1/2, four weeks off, which is the most I've taken off in five, six years.

So trying to get things back to where they were, and just trying to enjoy it. Obviously the crowds are going to be fantastic. I actually enjoy the experience of being here, hopefully playing with one of the Irish lads and get some good crowd support out there and just have a great week.

Q. The run of schedule of tournaments over the next two, three months, is pretty severe, so many majors in there, as well. Are you changing your schedule in any which way with what happened at Augusta to manage that?
DANNY WILLETT: No, not really changing the schedule. The schedule's stayed the same. I've actually added BMW International in Germany. Apart from that, it's going to stay the same. It just means that because of what we did, not taking away from any other event that we play in; it just means that certain events can be used as, not practise weeks, but you can try a few different things out and stuff like that, obviously in preparation for other events throughout the year. Like I said, yeah, this is the start of an exceptionally busy run to the next kind of three or four months.

Q. Can I ask you about last week? We saw Saturday was pretty difficult, of course, for everybody -- I don't know how much you saw, but the R&A brought out a pace of play manual that they are launching. I suppose this is the first week the pros are going to be watched in terms of how that goes about. Do you think that's going to filter to the professional game in terms of what the R&A are trying to do with pace of play and do you think there's a major problem?
DANNY WILLETT: Yes and no. It depends on -- it's always ridiculous when you get a golf course like they played last Saturday and they get it windy and stuff, and they expect you to play 30 shots in a small amount of time.

I don't know what they are trying to do with it. Nobody wants to see a six-hour round. But if nobody wants to see a six-hour round, then don't have the greens at 17 when it's going to be windy. It seems relatively simple and might have to sort that out.

These days, you've got every par 5 that the guys can each and stuff like that, so it's going to take longer to play a round of golf. It's not like back in the day when there was only a couple guys that would go for the green. Every group now is pretty much is waiting for at least one or two guys to kind of knock it on a par 5 or a short par 4.

So I think, yes, potentially, need to nail down on how long it takes to you play your shot every now and again, but the actual speed of rounds at times, is determined by the golf course, wind, length and stuff like that.

I think it's a very tricky one for everyone to get right. But I guess it's just one of them things that they are trying to cut down on just purely because nobody wants to see a six-hour round. We don't want to play a six-hour round but sometimes you're playing for a lot of money, World Ranking points and there's a lot on the line. To take an extra 15, 20 seconds over a shot could be the difference between a shot and over losing a shot. Is it worthwhile taking a fine or a penalty or whatever it is? I don't know. I think it's a tricky one to get fully right to be honest.

Q. You met up with Darren and a few of the boys last week for dinner, a Ryder Cup dinner. It's obviously very significant this week because this is the ten-year anniversary from when Darren helped them win. How much are you looking forward to the next few months?
DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, it's going to be great. I actually went two dinners last week. I went to the one with the more experienced guys and the one which I obviously will be in is which is obviously the rookie collection.

No, it was good to hear Darren speak to the guys and to get in that team environment already. The guys talked about past experiences and talking me through some of the things they think will happen and what you can expect, which was great.

And then obviously being part of the rookie dinner, Rory actually attended that one, as well, because he flew in late. Again, great to hear Rory's thoughts on different things and to kind of spur on all of us rookies, some of whom have not made the team, a couple of us who are pretty much guaranteed; it just kind of gets your juices flowing, just to hear the things. You hear some of the bits, you hear Clarkey talking about some of his stories.

It's just great to get the guys all involved and chat through a lot of things. Yeah, hopefully myself included, the people who are trying to get on that team can have a few good months and hopefully be on that plane to Hazeltine in September.

Q. Did you enjoy your Buffalo wings at JFK on Monday night?
DANNY WILLETT: I can't remember (laughter).

Q. On the way home from the Masters.
DANNY WILLETT: Oh, they were all right. (Laughter) trying to soak up a little bit.

Q. Just wanted to ask you about your preparation for the U.S. Open, what sort of schedule have you leading into it. You'll be the only man now who can do the Slam, as it were. Has that crossed your mind?
DANNY WILLETT: The Grand Slam thing obviously is quite funny, unless you win the first major you can't do it. So yeah, I'm the other person who can but nothing's changed.

We're going to try to Oakmont on the Saturday or Sunday with my family and my mom and try to do the preparations we do for any other event really. I think one of the things you do for majors is you try to put too much onus on trying to play well that particular week. Like Augusta, I had been playing well for a while and fortunately enough I was able to take the form into there and play well.

I think it's very difficult, there's only one man that I know who could actually peak his game for specific events, and that was Tiger, and I don't think anyone has been able to quite schedule things the same as what he could do. Jason Day seems like he's trending in that direction where the less he plays, the better he plays.

No, our preparation will stay the same. We'll get out there on the Saturday or Sunday purely for jet-lag reasons and then go take a look at the golf course and try to play nine holes a day and get a feel for it.

There are strange things you get with majors and when you pitch up, because you play them on a Sunday or Monday, and by the time Thursday comes around, it's a different golf course. They will firm it up. Usually on the Sunday and Monday, it's as soft and as green as you'll see the golf course in a major. It's really just getting a feel for how things look visually and trying to take shots and stuff like that.

Like I said, by Thursday, if you get a different wind and it firms up, it throws everything out. So it's really just kind of getting a feel for the golf course and not necessarily trying to take loads and loads from it because of how the golf course changes through the week.

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