Watch: Danny Willett suffers final hole meltdown to hand PGA Tour victory to Max Homa




  • In Sports
  • 2022-09-19 11:15:16Z
  • By The Telegraph
Danny Willet struggles to hide his shock after three-putting on the final green of the Fortinet Championship - GETTY
Danny Willet struggles to hide his shock after three-putting on the final green of the Fortinet Championship - GETTY  

Danny Willett suffered a golfer's worst nightmare on Sunday night when first missing a three-footer to win on the PGA Tour - and then yanking the resulting tiddler to miss out on a playoff.

Max Homa could not believe his luck. Strolling up to the last green at Fortinet Championship, the American was all but resigned to seeing his English playing partner take the £1.27million winners cheque.

Homa was one behind and was still off the green in three on the par five, while Willett was in close looking good for a birdie. Even when Homa, the defending champion, chipped in it still appeared that Willett would lift his first title on US soil since the 2016 Masters.

But then came Willett's shocking three-putt, having grazed the hole with his first effort, and Homa was suddenly celebrating his fourth victory in the last two years. In true Yorkshire style, Willett, 34, took the defeat on the chin, despite the realisation the collapse had cost him almost £500,000, the difference between first and second.

"We'll live to fight another day," he said. "It's a shame with how it finished but I'm pretty sure those are the only short putts I've missed all week. Just a shame to do it when I did. One of them things. At times you wish you could rewind time. We learn from it and move on."

This would have been Willett's first success in 12 months and would have hauled him back up to the brink of the world's top 50 after an indifferent season.

But he should and will take the positives from a week in Napa, California in which he reached 15-under and played some wonderful shots, particularly on the 14th in his final round 69 where he bent it around a tree to within 15 feet.

His display bodes well for his defence at next week's Dunhill Links Championship in Fife, where he will attempt to emerge as a serious contender for next year's Ryder Cup.

Max Homa is greeted by Danny Willett on the 18th green after winning the Fortinet Championship - AP
Max Homa is greeted by Danny Willett on the 18th green after winning the Fortinet Championship - AP  

"I'm obviously going to remember that last putt, but it was a good week all in all and it was nice to be in contention basically from Friday," he said. "Things are in a good place."

For his part, Homa felt he had vindicated his place in the US side for this week's President Cup in North Carolina. Davis Love picked the debutant as one of his six wildcards and was subjected to cruel taunts on social media.

"I've had a lot of people tell me if the LIV guys wouldn't have left, I wouldn't have made the Presidents Cup team," he said. "So I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder here."

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