Oct 4th, 2021
Birthday celebrations for Willett at the home of golf
Englishman wins the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Photography: Getty Images
The 2016 Masters winner, who turned thirty-four on Sunday, started the final round on the Old Course at St Andrews with a three-stroke lead and remained at the top of the leaderboard throughout the day, making the turn in three-under-par.
His fifth birdie of the day followed on the tenth hole and he parred his way home to sign for a four-under 68, a two-stroke victory, and his first win since the 2019 BMW PGA Championship.
“To win here, to be British and to be able to win on British soil, to win at the Home of Golf, this is a very special one," said Willett.
"Especially after how the last year and a half has been for everyone involved. It's a really nice way to kind of kick on a little bit for these last couple of months of the season."
Two-time Alfred Dunhill Links Championship winner Tyrrell Hatton recorded his second runner-up finish at the event in the space of three years on 16 under par, joined on that number by Joakim Lagergren. The Swede finished inside the top four for the fourth time in just six starts in the popular Pro-Am tournament.
Sharing fourth were last week’s Ryder Cup debutant Shane Lowry and Betfred British Masters champion Richard Bland.
Northern Irishman Michael Hoey, who won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2011, and his amateur partner Maeve Danaher took the team honours, with Danaher becoming the first woman to add her name to the Team Championship roll of honour.
The pair recorded a team score of 36 under par, beating Australian cricket star Shane Warne and New Zealander Ryan Fox, who were tied on the same score, thanks to Hoey’s eight-under-par tournament total.
“The putt on the last there, I knew there was a bit of money on it, and I'm trying not to think about money. Didn't play unbelievable today but kept it pretty solid because this can pay for my season. And it's quite a big thing," said Hoey after his team success.