2016 has been a breakout season for Danny Willett.
In April, he became a father for the first time, and shortly afterwards, after receiving permission from his wife to compete, he was a surprise winner of the Masters at Augusta.
This success, alongside other notable performances on the tour, earned him a place in the European Ryder Cup team as a rookie.
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Although the Europeans struggled and he failed to make his mark at Hazeltine, the year can still be viewed as one of real success for the Englishman.
Unfortunately, however, Willett’s progress has been halted temporarily by a back problem, which has forced him to withdraw from the upcoming World Cup of Golf.
This year’s event is being held at Kingston Health in Melbourne from 24-27 of November but comes too soon for Willett to participate.
Unfortunately for the Masters champion, the back injury has cost not only his own place in the competition, but also that of Lee Westwood.
The pair were due to play together, but when Willett and next in line Justin Rose withdrew, Chris Wood was the next eligible selection.
The rules of the World Cup stated that Wood was able to choose his partner for the event and he opted for Andy Sullivan, rather than Westwood.
Willett has apologised to Westwood for ending his hopes of participation but insists there are no hard feelings between the two.
“We were both looking forward to going down there and pairing up,” he commented. But, “Westy has been pretty good about it.”
However, the 29-year-old Yorkshireman did reserve some criticism for the format of the tournament, as well as some suggestions for improvement to avoid such a situation occurring in the future.
“I think it was a bit unfair for that tournament to kind of go about it the way they did.
“I think you just then go down the list and see which guy potentially wants to play. With such short notice, I don’t see why they have switched it around and made it two brand new guys.
“Obviously when the guys have booked their flights I think it’s not quite right just because one guy pulls out that the other guy has to kind of withdraw without having a say in it.”