Danny Willett wins first major by three shots at Augusta
Becomes first European Masters winner since 1999 and first Englishman since 1996
Brother Peter trends on Twitter with stream of pithy comments
As Danny Willett went about the business of winning a green jacket, back home in Britain his brother was equally busy “winning Twitter.”
While Danny was taking advantage of Jordan Spieth’s monumental meltdown to win the Masters, school teacher Peter Willett was creating his own social media buzz, commentating on his brother’s final round with a torrent of funny and touching tweets.
Golfer Willett described his 12-day ride as “crazy” – his wife Nicole gave birth to their first child Zachariah last Tuesday and he won his first major title.
READ: Willett claims first major
Peter, meanwhile, was doing what older brothers do best – looking out for their younger siblings and in the process becoming one of the top trends on Twitter.
“Green makes you look fat, refuse the jacket,” quipped Peter on Twitter, with another tweet reading: “Speechless. I once punched that kid in the head for hurting my pet rat. Now look.”
It wasn’t long before Peter was tweeting his own claim to fame: “I will be able to say I’ve shared a bath with a Masters winner.”
Danny told CNN afterwards: “There’s a few pictures that could prove that. We all used to – back in the day – to try and save water. That was it, one hot water bath, as many people get in as possible, try and get clean.”
The son of Reverend Stephen and Swedish maths teacher Elisabet Willett, the 28-year-old golfer is the third of four brothers from Sheffield, in northern England.
Read: Jordan Spieth – The ultimate choke?
He got his first taste of golf as a youngster on a rough and ready par-three course on family holidays in Anglesey, Wales.
After leaving school at 16, Willett spent two years at Jacksonville State University in Alabama before becoming the world’s number one amateur in 2008.
Now, he has become the first European to win the Masters since Jose Spain’s Maria Olazabal in 1999 and the first Englishman since Nick Faldo won the last of his three titles in 1996.
Willett pounced after Spieth suffered one of the sport’s biggest collapses, arguably eclipsing Greg Norman’s infamous defeat by Faldo after leading by six shots heading into the final day 20 years ago.
Defending champion Spieth stood on the 10th tee with a five-shot lead and seemingly set for a leisurely stroll to back-to-back green jackets.
Forty or so mind-bending minutes later, Spieth trailed Willett by one shot on a spellbinding afternoon at Augusta.
Spieth combusted with two bogeys and a quadruple-bogey seven via two shots in the water in front of the treacherous short 12th.
Several groups ahead, Willett found out he was leading when he walked off the 15th green.
“I nipped to the bathroom and on the way, everyone was shouting and screaming and saying – you know – look up, you’re leading the Masters,” added Willett, who had pledged to skip the event if his son came around Sunday’s due date.
Playing in only his second Masters and trying to deal with the rising excitement, Willett then fired a stunning approach into the par-three 16th to set up a birdie to take control of the tournament.
“Trying to ignore everyone, trying to stay focused on the goal that I was trying to achieve and go through my processes,” he said.
Back in Britain, his sister-in-law Sarah chimed in on in the Twitter commentary: “Don’t ever put us through this again Dan, I’ve aged 20 years.”
“I’m very privileged to have a fantastic group of family, in-laws and friends around me, to keep me down to earth,” Willett told CNN afterwards.
“To keep me being the person I’ve worked hard to be … regardless of if I’ve played good golf or not. They don’t really care. They care that I am a good person and that if I keep doing the right things and working hard, any little bonus along the way, within golf, is a bonus.”
Reaching the 18th green in two, Willet needed a par four to establish an almost impregnable lead in the clubhouse at five under.
“3 putt this & you might as well stay in America,” tweeted Peter.
Willett made his par and watched in the clubhouse as Spieth tried in vain to scrap back from disaster.
As Danny received his famous green jacket awarded to the Masters champion, Peter and the rest of the family were celebrating at home.
“When I’m too tired to teach a good lesson tomorrow, and some kid spits at me, I’m just gonna smile and say ‘I won Twitter,’” wrote Peter.
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