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US Masters champ and new dad Danny Willett returns home to 'change some nappies'

Published 12/04/2016

Masters champion Danny Willett.
Masters champion Danny Willett.

US Masters champion Danny Willett has arrived home saying he wants a rest and a cuppa after a whirlwind two days since he clinched the title.

Willett got a taste of life as a major champion as he returned to flash bulbs and autograph hunters at Manchester Airport saying he just wanted to get back to his wife Nicole and new-born son, Zachariah.

But he came down to earth fairly quickly when he got to within a short bunker shot of his north Nottinghamshire home, only to find the narrow road outside blocked by a comical rural traffic jam.

In a effort to smooth the final few yards of his triumphant journey home to his family, the first British Masters winner for 20 years jumped out of his blacked-out-windowed people-carrier and organised the back-and-forth of scaffolding lorries and Network Rail trucks to clear the way.

As he orchestrated the manoeuvres he said he just wanted to get inside to see his family and put his feet up with a cup of tea.

By then, he had dispensed with the green jacket he proudly sported as he walked through the arrivals hall in Manchester on Tuesday morning after an overnight flight from New York.

"It's a nice way to get back into the airport," the 28-year-old said with a smile after he landed. "It's been pretty big in America but until you get home I don't think you can quite realise the scale of what's going on."

He said: "The more you say it and things like this happen you start to realise just what we did and everything that's going to go with it.

"Hopefully we just take it in our stride and enjoy what we've done. We've had a lot of encouraging messages from really nice people around the world offering advice if I need it so we've got a lot of good people on our side. I think we'll be all right.

"When you're out on tour it kind of happens anyway but it just changes things a little bit in normal walks of life, hopefully not too much so we can still have some fun and normality."

Sheffield-born Willett had expected to miss the Masters because Zachariah was not due until April 10, but he arrived early on March 29, allowing his dad to be at the birth before flying to the US.

He said he is now looking forward to some family time and adjusting to life both as a new parent and as Britain's newest sporting superstar.

"It's still a bit crazy, everything's still up in the air but I think it'll start slowly sinking in," he said. "I've got a couple of hours left then hopefully we'll be able to go home and lock the door.

"I'm looking forward to spending time with Nic and little man and just enjoying what we've just done. Watching it over, seeing the reruns, and going back to being a dad. Got to change some nappies.

"It's been a tough week obviously, leaving him when he was only just born. We've been in contact a lot but I'm really looking forward to getting back now."

Councillor Talib Hussain, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, said: "I would like to say a huge congratulations to Danny Willett on behalf of the city of Sheffield.

"We are incredibly proud of Danny's achievements, especially considering he started his golfing career on one of our council golf courses.

"The council plans to hold a civic reception in his honour, and award him a star on Sheffield's famous 'Legends' walk of fame alongside other remarkable sons and daughters of this great city from Sir Michael Palin, to Jessica Ennis-Hill, to Helen Sharman.

"We think after all he has achieved, he deserves the accolade of legend."

Willett later posted a tweet with a picture of a paused television screen showing himself on the 16th tee on the final day of the Masters.

He wrote: " Just to verify that this last week hasn't been a dream!"

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