"I think it's been a fantastic year" - Danny Willett reflects on successful season despite poor recent form

The 2016 Masters champion prepares to take part in Nedbank Golf Challenge as the Race to Dubai draws to a close

BY Cian Roche 11:07 Wednesday 9 November 2016, 11:07 9 Nov 2016

Image: Jane Barlow PA Wire/PA Images

Danny Willett says 2016 has been perhaps one of his best years as a golfer despite poor recent form on the European Tour.

The Masters champion hasn't finished inside the top 50 of his last three outings and trails Henrik Stenson in the Race to Dubai by more than 250,000 points.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, the Sheffield native said he was happy with his year's work despite recent finishes and slipping up in the Tour Series finale.

"If you look at it as a whole I think it's been a fantastic year," he told Brad Hale. "I think it's very easy to pick up on bad moments and bad things but you reflect back and look back at the year as a whole.

"I think if you said you're going to win a major and miss every cut I'd have taken it. I know it's been a disappointing last couple of months, but we're still working hard and we're still trying to do the right thing."

Henrik Stenson is Willett's main competitor heading down the final stretch of the Race to Dubai. Image: Peter Byrne PA Wire/PA Images 

Asked whether his mindset would have to change heading into the event he said: "I don't think it does. It's still four rounds guaranteed and you've also got a great field. I guess you don't get a lie-in. It was nice when you had 30 guys and the first tee was 10am. I think they'er going to change that to 7.45am this week.

"Because it's been such a small field for so many years, there's not as many guys who have seen the course as much as myself or Henrik [Stenson]. We may have a slight advantage because we know the golf course so well."

He and Stenson continue to battle it out and the 29-year-old argues that it is not a position he is unfamiliar with.

"I think I got within €1,500 of Rory [McIlroy] going into Dubai last year, but obviously he played pretty well there and finished fourth.

"Me and Henrik have had pretty similar years I would say. Both had good showings in World Golf Championships, both won a major and for Henrik that second place finished in China a few week's ago boosted him again.

"It's been a tough couple of weeks so it's nice to come back to somewhere you're familiar with. I've got memories coming around this golf course, obviously this is where it all started two years ago."


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