MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 23:48:45

Defending champion Danny Willett has 'spring in his step' ahead of Masters

Danny Willett insists that he is feeling in buoyant mood ahead of his Masters title defence despite struggling for form in the 12 months since his shock triumph.

Danny Willett has admitted that he has grown "impatient" since last year's Masters triumph but will head to Augusta in a confident mood.

The 29-year-old pulled off a shock victory 12 months ago following a collapse from Jordan Spieth, giving him his first career win at a Major.

Willett has since dropped from ninth in the world to his current standing of 17th, however, having failed to win an event since and largely struggled for form.

Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the 2017 edition of the competition, the Yorkshireman said: "You do have a spring in your step coming back as champion. But you can't change your game like that.

"The pressure has been more from myself. It's not a nice feeling to not hit good golf shots when you know what you can do. I think the last 12 months has made me a little more impatient.

"I think achieving what I achieved last year and performing under the pressure that I did on Sunday, if you don't do that every time you get a bit annoyed. That's where the game jumps up and bites you. It's not that easy."

Willett has been paired with Matt Kuchar and Curtis Luck for the opening two rounds of this year's Masters, which gets underway on Thursday.


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Rory McIlroy squats to line up a shot during the first round of The Masters on April 7, 2016
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