Lee: Wonderful Willett

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Despite being so close to Christmas, it was another busy weekend for golf on Sports 4. As Jordan Spieth was upstaging Tiger???s return to action in Florida, Danny Willett was roaring to victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The manner of Willett???s win was very impressive, shooting 65 and 66 over the weekend to claim the first title of the new European Tour season by four shots.

He???s won before on the European Tour, but he???s been knocking on the door to make a significant breakthrough, and maybe his win in Sun City was the one.

Danny beat a high-quality field on a very difficult golf course, and hopefully this will spur him on to bigger and better things, including a possible Ryder Cup berth in 2016.

He???s had a few problems with injury this season, but he???s shown what he can do when he???s fully fit. Danny is not a big man, but he???s very powerful and a great ball-striker.

That win took him within sight of the world top 50, and that???s a really good place to be as it gives you such a push to get into the majors and WGC events.

There???s no doubt Danny is a very good young player, and I can see him playing in the Ryder Cup if he keeps learning and improving and stays injury-free.


The other good story to come out of Sun City was the return to form of Luke Donald. At the start of the year, he made the move to change his swing to add more power to a game that was a little off the boil.

He went to Chuck Cook, who coaches the likes of Jason Dufner, but the move did not pay off and Luke took the decision to go back to long-time coach Pat Goss.

Making big moves and changes between coaches can be very difficult, but he certainly touched his best in Sun City with his 63 in the second round.

It was very positive that he wasn???t trying to shoot 71 as his best round of the week, and he had some good spells of play on a very tough course.

From 100 yards in Luke is still as good as anyone, but for him it???s always been about finding the fairways. He is not a long driver, but you don???t have to be long if you???re straight.

He???s also been to the top of the world rankings, largely because of his iron play and his finishing inside 25 feet was incredible for a good 18 months.

But he needs to find more fairways to get back among the world???s elite. You just can???t be short and wild off the tee or you will be punished.


As for this week, the European Tour moves to the stunning Leopard Creek Country Club in the Kruger National Park in South Africa for the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Charl Schwartzel has been a dynamo at this course for the last two years, winning both events by a combined 16 shots, but he hasn???t been in great form recently.

But it???s all about home comforts for him, and the South African guys do tend to play well on home soil. The Alfred Dunhill has become like a bonus event for Schwartzel ??? he turns up, he wins.

You can almost guarantee he will play well, even though he has had a pretty mediocre season by his standards.

I???ll also be interested in how Matt Fitzpatrick fares, not just this week but in his first full season as a professional on the European Tour.

He is obviously a very talented young player, but he was unable to emulate the likes of Rory McIlroy and keep his card on merit last season after just a handful of events.

Matt had to endure the dreaded Qualifying School, but I don???t think that will do him any harm at all. It was a good learning process for him and he came through it with flying colours.

Not everyone can graduate to the pro ranks at the same speed. But I think Matt Fitzpatrick is a very good player and I expect he will play in every tournament he is eligible for.

There are a lot of events he will get into up until the BMW PGA Championship, and one win can make a massive difference. It???s an exciting time for him and I will be keeping a close eye on his career.

The names he was compared with towards the end of his amateur career tend to have done exceptionally well, and I have a feeling he could be another.

Rob will be in the studio from 6am on Thursday morning, presenting live coverage of the Thailand Golf Championship, Dubai Ladies Masters and the Alfred Dunhill Championship. It’s all on Sports 4 – your home of golf.