Danny Willett celebrated his birthday in style as a final-round 68 was good enough for a two-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Danny Willett Celebrates Birthday With Alfred Dunhill Victory
Danny Willett led from start to finish on the final day, becoming the first player to win on his birthday since Ernie Els in 2004.
Starting the final round three shots clear, a barrage of five birdies and one bogey around St Andrews was good enough for a two-shot victory over a strong field that was littered with Ryder Cup stars.
“It’s been a great week and I’ve had great time. It’s been a couple of years of average stuff again but we’ve been working hard and people don’t see it behind the scenes, but this win is a good one.”
Having shot three rounds in the 60s around St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, Willett started the day three shots clear.
Three birdies and a bogey over the opening five holes calmed any nerves, but the Major winner soon saw his lead cut to two, with Richard Bland setting a blistering pace over the front nine.
Back-to-back birdies at the 9th and 10th kept Willett’s advantage intact as he came to the pivotal final few holes.
Despite a run of eight pars to finish, the Englishman maintained his two-shot buffer, with the eventual victory his first since the 2019 BMW PGA Championship.
“It was a good thing that scoring was low. I had a target of 20-under in my head and I knew if I reached it nobody was catching me. Blandy got off to a really quick start and Shane Lowry was playing well and we were hitting a lot of average shots,” said Willett.
“We had a really good run on 10 but unfortunately we weren’t able to make any birdies over the last seven holes but it was enough in the end. It’s great to win on British soil with all the fans here and it’s just been a great week.”