Enjoy our faster App experience

To win it in such a fashion feels extra special: Willett

To win it in such a fashion feels extra special: Willett

Dubai - The 28-year-old won by just one stroke over Sullivan and Cabrera-Bello, with a 19-under after striking three-under on the day.

By James Jose

Published: Sun 7 Feb 2016, 7:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Feb 2016, 9:24 PM

Danny Willett was ecstatic after clinching the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and said that to win it in such a thrilling fashion made it all the more special.
The Englishman was involved in a three-way tussle with countryman Andy Sullivan and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello right through the day and right down to the final hole of the Majlis Course. But the Yorkshireman stuck it out there and came up with a tough birdie putt on the tricky 18th to seal the deal.
The 28-year-old won by just one stroke over Sullivan and Cabrera-Bello, with a 19-under after striking three-under on the day.
"I'm just ecstatic. 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. It's something that you can't pay for in life. You've got to earn it," Willett said.
"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. 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 the goods, I guess," he added.
Willett also reckoned that being in the final group on a Sunday was a victory in itself and said that to finish it off with win was the icing on the cake.
"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," said Willett.
"So, 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," he added.
Talking of the brilliant birdie putt on the 18th, Willett said he found a nice line and judged it perfectly.
"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. It would have been nice to have 240 but just finishing in that way again, was brilliant," said the Omega European Masters winner.
It was his fourth win on the European Tour, which vaulted Willett to third in the Race to Dubai standings. But Willett said it is still early days and added there was a long way to go. He had finished second to Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai last year.
"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," he said.
"But it's still early days to talk about the Race to Dubai. But 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 back-up somewhere near," added Willett.


  • His fourth European Tour International Schedule victory in his 192nd European Tour event.
  • Moves to 651,116 points in The Race to Dubai.
  • Could move into the top 15 of the Official World Golf Ranking, from 20th.
  • His first European Tour victory since the 2015 Omega European Masters.
  • Claims European Tour victories in consecutive seasons for the first time.
  • This victory beats his previous best 2016 European Tour performance of tied fourth in the Nedbank Golf Challenge (Dec 2015).
  • His first European Tour victory in the Middle East.
  • His four European Tour victories have all come in different destinations. They are: Germany (2012 BMW International Open), South Africa (2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge), Switzerland (2015 Omega European Masters) and United Arab Emirates (2016 Omega Dubai Desert Classic).
  • This victory comes in his seventh appearance in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
  • This victory beats his previous best performances in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic of tied 13th in both 2014 and 2015.
  • Follows Mark James (1989) and David Howell (1999), as English winners of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
  • The 302nd English victory in European Tour history.
  • The first English victory of the 2016 European Tour season.
  • The first English winner on The European Tour since Justin Rose at the 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open.
  • This victory continues England's record of being the only country to win in every season in The European Tour's history, dating back to the first season in 1972.
  • This victory beats his previous best European Tour performance in the Middle East of tied fourth in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in 2015.
  • Won his first European Tour event at the 2012 BMW International Open in his 106th tournament. Had to wait a further 60 events for win number two, the 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge. Including the 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge, has now won his last three events in his last 26 European Tour starts.
  • To highlight his consistency since the start of the 2015 European Tour season, has played in 26 European Tour events and recorded 11 top ten finishes, including three victories.
  • Extends his European Tour exemption until the end of the 2018 season.
  • Gains his fourth victory as a professional.
  • Moves to 1,541,536 in The European Ryder Cup Points Table.

More news from Golf