Danny Willett Cites Back Injury For Poor Performance

In the most recent case of a golfer reaching the top of the mountain, only to seemingly lose his game entirely, 2016 Masters Champion Danny Willett has had a tough go in 2017.

After a 76th place Open Championship finish, a tournament where many thought he did well just to make the cut, Willett has been openly agitated about a slow-healing back injury, suggesting that it could very well lead to surgery.

In six major starts since his breakthrough Masters victory, Willett has not finished better than T37, and missed the cut in his Masters defense.


  • After a 76th place finish at Royal Birkdale, Danny Willett cited a bad back for poor play.
  • Willett had an MRI just last week and was unable to hit balls for Open Championship prep until the Friday before.
  • In 14 worldwide starts this year, Willett has missed the cut or withdrawn eight times. In his other six starts, he has finished in the top 50 just twice: a T5 at the European Tour’s Maybank Championship, and a T39 at the WGC-Dell Match Play, a 64-man tournament where everyone who lost in the first round was list as finishing T39.
  • Willett rose to #9 in the world after his 2016 Masters win, but has slowly dropped to his current position of #43.

  • 2017 Starts

    MC – Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
    59 – Omega Dubai Desert Classic
    5 – Maybank Championship
    MC – The Honda Classic
    69 – WGC Mexico Championship
    39 – WGC Dell Match Play
    MC – The Masters
    MC – RBC Heritage
    58 – BMW PGA Championship
    WD – U.S. Open
    MC – HNA Open de France
    WD – Dubai Duty Free Irish Open


    “A long way away. It feels a long way away. Golf shots are a long way away. Mental is a long way away. Scoring is a long way away.”
    Danny Willett on the state of his game

Joel Cook

Joel Cook is Pro Golf Weekly's Lead Writer. He is a member of the Golf Writer's Association of America.


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