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Top 30 Golfers for the 2016 Majors: No. 24 Danny Willett

Danny Willett.jpg

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Gary Williams.

No. 24: Danny Willett

Born: Oct. 3, 1987, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England | Career PGA Tour Wins: 0 (4 on the European Tour) | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $408,435 | World Ranking: 11

Gary Williams’ Take: The American golf fan got a very good look at a likely 2016 European Ryder Cup rookie at the 2015 WGC Match Play, where he finished third. He also finished third in the final World Golf Championship of the calendar year, the HSBC, which helped him move inside the top 20 in the world rankings to close 2015. Willett rose to No. 1 in the official amateur rankings and attended Jacksonville State for several years, so the interesting question to be answered is where he will choose to play the majority of his golf going forward. The best Europeans, with few exceptions, all choose to join the PGA Tour. Willett will play in the States quite a bit in 2016 with the majors and WGC events — he just posted a tie for third at the Cadillac — but his best path to an automatic spot on the European Ryder Cup team may be through the European points list and not the world points list, which would mean more starts on the European Tour. But either way, Willett has proven with his results, including his sixth-place finish at the 2015 Open Championship, that he is on a different level, which will bring with it different expectations.

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Major Championship Résumé

Starts: 11
Wins: 0
2015 Performance:
    Masters – T38
    U.S. Open – Cut
    British Open – T6
    PGA Championship – T54
Best Career Finishes
    Masters – T38 (2015)
    U.S. Open – T45 (2014)
    British Open – T6 (2015)
    PGA Championship – T30 (2014)
Top-10 Finishes: 1
Top-25 Finishes: 2
Missed Cuts: 4

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.