Danny WIllett cracked the face on his driver in round one, but that didn't stop him pushing forward at Augusta

Danny Willett Cracks Driver But In Masters Contention

Danny Willett hasn’t played a weekend since winning the 2016 Masters and he’ll now have to do it without his driver.

The good news is that the Yorkshireman managed to eclipse his closing 67 four years ago with a six-under effort on Friday, the bad news is that he’ll likely play the rest of the tournament with just a 3-wood for company in the top end of his bag.    

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As of last year rule 4.1 now states that ‘a player is allowed to keep using and/or repair any club damaged during the round, no matter what the damage and even if the player damaged it in anger’.

Indeed Bryson DeChambeau broke his driver at the PGA Championship.

But Willett decided to plough on with just 13 clubs.

“The face cracked on 17 this morning. I’ve got a spare head but it wasn’t as good, so we didn’t even put it in the bag for the second round.”

The omens didn’t look too promising when he doubled the 10th, his opening hole of the second round, but then it was sublime. He eagled 10 and, in the end, he had nine 3s on his card in his 66.

“There’s a 30-yard difference (to the driver). It’s nice to see everyone 340 out there and we’re hitting 3‑wood. But this course I play quite a lot of 3‑wood around here anyway. Always have.

This place for me has always been a second‑shot course, and especially with how receptive some of these smaller tiers are, it kind of made it a little bit easier.  You’re coming in with 6‑iron instead of 8‑iron, your ball is still going to stop on the green, whereas in years gone past, that would have been a real big disadvantage.”

This is the second time that a face has cracked on his driver but switching to the replacement wasn’t an option.

“I don’t even hit it that hard. It’s just that I don’t like tinkering. That driver is probably three years old, so that’s the only problem with not liking to change all the time is that sooner or later something like that might happen.

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We’re going to have a little look (at a new driver) but I’m pretty happy that if it’s not something that really, really stands out, we’ll end up just playing as we have done. It’s one of those you feel more comfortable with the 3‑wood that we’ve used for a long time now, and you put a better swing on it if you’re not sure about a driver.”

Willett will go into round three on seven under, alongside compatriots Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose, and he’ll be playing his first major weekend of 2020.

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