U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Why Danny Willett, the world's 11th-best golfer, might not play in the Masters

March 07, 2016

Danny Willett's ascension up the Official World Golf Ranking has turned him from Masters sleeper to Masters popular pick. However, there's a good chance the British star won't tee it up at Augusta National next month.

Willett's wife, Nicole, is due with the couple's first child that week. And Willett made it clear he would be there for the birth of his son, even if it meant missing the year's first major. Good choice.

"I'm looking forward to Augusta, if I get to go play," Willett told reporters at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. "Obviously Nic's due that week, so all depends on how our little man is fairing, if he fancies coming out early on, it would be great, but if not, I won't be playing."

Willett, 28, finished T-3 at Trump National Doral to move up to 11th in the OWGR. He's played in two World Golf Championships this season -- his only two PGA Tour events of 2015-16 -- and finished T-3 in both. Willett also won in Dubai last month and currently leads the European Tour's season-long Race to Dubai.

"Yeah, hopefully, yeah, we have a nice, easy smooth early birth and I can get out there, even if I go and fly out Tuesday, Wednesday," said Willett, who finished T-38 in his first trip to Augusta National last year. "It's one of the golf tournaments you don't really want to miss."

But of course, Willett also doesn't want to miss the birth of his son.

"There's plenty more Masters," he added.

That's the spirit, Danny. And if you're in a Masters pool, you've been warned.