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Written by: Manvi Singh
As the champagne popped wild on his 34th birthday, Danny Willett marked one of the biggest wins in his career at the 20th anniversary of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrew’s.
Danny Willett with his winning glee
The former Masters and Alfred Dunhill Team champion, most recently winner of the 2019 BMW PGA, shot a 68 on the Old Course for an 18-under-par total to win by two from Joakim Lagergren, who had a 66 and Tyrrell Hatton, 67.
He narrowly missed making it a spectacular double celebration with victory in the Team Championship with American amateur partner Jimmy Dunne, when his final putt slipped by the hole. The Irish team of Michael Hoey and Maeve Danaher held on to win.
With a total of 270, along with the 23rd rank on the Race to Dubai, Danny Willett considers this to be a change of pace for the year. Starting the day three ahead, he did not panic early on when the birdies did not come and challengers lined up to try to catch him, most noticeably Richard Bland who was level with him when he birdied the 9th hole.
Along with Richard Bland, Shane Lowry too chased wild and high on the score as he closed at 15 under at a 71-67-67-68, closing at 273.
Danny Willett had a heartbreaking yet overwhelming venture for the day, as he stated, “Things have been good. I've always said if I get a bit of a sniff, I'm usually all right. And today was a nice example of that.”
He further added, “It's been a relatively average year till this. Fingers crossed now we've got six or seven events left till we put the clubs down at Christmas, so hopefully, we can push on a bit from this.”
Shubhankar shot 70-78-68 (even-par 216) and Ajeetesh Sandhu, who was also playing in the event, shot 71-77-76 (8-over 224) to miss the three-day cut set at 2-under 214.
Leaderboard at the close of Dunhill Links