Willett wins Masters after Spieth's collapse

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Danny Willett Wins 2016 Masters

Englishman Danny Willett took advantage of a shocking back-nine meltdown by defending champion and runaway leader Jordan Spieth to win his first major title by three shots at the Masters on Sunday.

Three strokes behind the pacesetting Spieth going into the final round at Augusta National, an ice-cool Willett closed with a five-under-par 67 to end a 17-year title drought by European golfers at the year's opening major.

Willett, a four-times winner on the European Tour competing in his second Masters, birdied three of the last six holes to cap off a bogey-free display in sun-bathed but cool conditions and post a five-under total of 283.

SEE MORE: Danny Willett almost skipped the tournament

He became only the second Englishman to win the coveted Green Jacket, following three-times champion Nick Faldo, and ended a barren title run by Europeans dating back to Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal's second victory here in 1999.

"It's been crazy," Willett, 28, said before being helped into the coveted Green Jacket by last year's champion, Spieth. "You can't really describe the emotions and feelings.

"We all go out there and try and play good golf and at the end of the day someone's got to win the golf tournament. Fortunately enough, today was my day," added 2007 English Amateur champion Willett, who is the son of a vicar.

"It was tough. Every time we seemed to make ground, Jordan kept pulling ahead. And we were just trying to dig in and dig in ... trying to make birdies and birdies. It was just a very surreal day when you look back at the ebb and flows."

Willett's participation at this year's Masters had been in doubt last month with his wife scheduled to give birth on Sunday, but their baby boy Zachariah arrived 12 days ago.

"He came early ... to let me play," Willett smiled. "You talk about fate ... it's just been a crazy, crazy week."

PHOTOS FROM THE MASTERS' DRAMATIC FINAL DAY:

31 PHOTOS
Masters - Final Day '16
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Willett wins Masters after Spieth's collapse
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Hideki Matsuyama hits his second shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Hideki Matsuyama reacts after hitting his second shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth hits his second shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth waves to the crowd after making a putt on the 1st green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his approach to the 2nd hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth putts on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bernhard Langer putts on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Dustin Johnson hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Lee Westwood putts on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; A general view as Jordan Spieth putts on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; J.B. Holmes hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Billy Horschel chips onto the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy waves to the crowd after putting on the 7th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett lines up a putt on the 7th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth and Smylie Kaufman walk off the 7th tee during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Smylie Kaufman putts on the 7th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth watches his tee shot on the 4th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his approach to the 7th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett hits his second shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth reacts after hitting into the water on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett hits a shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth reacts after hitting his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett hits his second shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett reacts after putting on the 18th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett lines up a putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett waves to the crowd after completing the 18th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett reacts after putting on the 18th green in the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth reacts on the 18th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
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Spieth, bidding for a second consecutive wire-to-wire win at the Masters and a third major title, had to settle for a share of second place after carding an adventurous one-over 73 that included a quadruple bogey and seven birdies.

NIGHTMARE SEVEN

The American world number two had stormed five strokes in front with nine holes to play and victory seemingly assured when he bogeyed the 10th and 11th before running up a nightmare seven at the par-three 12th.

"It's tough, it's really tough," Spieth told CBS Sports about his stunning three-hole collapse, his voice cracking with emotion. "Pretty sure I'll be disappointed with that one.

"Just put a bad swing on it right at the wrong time. Just compounded mistakes. Just lack of discipline. A very tough 30 minutes for me that hopefully I will never experience again."

Finishing level with Spieth at two under was England's former world number one Lee Westwood who, still seeking a first major title after recording 17 top-10 finishes during a stellar career, returned a 69.

England's Paul Casey (67) and Americans J.B. Holmes (68) and Dustin Johnson (71) tied for fourth at one under while world number three Rory McIlroy, seeking to complete a career grand slam of the majors, returned a 71 to share 10th place.

After three rounds of gusting winds, players were greeted by the coldest temperatures of the week but the calmest conditions as Sunday's final round began with an abundance of compelling possible storylines in the melting pot.

For the first nine holes, Spieth was his usual unflappable self as he mixed five birdies with a lone bogey and several clutch putts to reach the turn five strokes clear at seven under, seemingly in total command.

However, the 22-year-old Texan bogeyed the 10th, after bunkering his approach, and also the 11th, after his tee shot sailed right into the trees, before the tricky 12th took an even more severe toll.

After hitting successive shots into the waters of Rae's Creek in front of the 12th green, Spieth found a back bunker with his fifth en route to a mind-boggling seven, tumbling back into a tie for fourth at one under.

Though he did well to rebound with birdies on both par-fives, the 13th and 15th, he also bogeyed 17 after bunkering his approach and was never able to catch Willett, who picked up shots at the 13th, 14th and 16th to give himself a cushion.

"I had my 'B minus' game tee to green, and I made up for it around the greens with my putter," said Spieth. "Ultimately you just have to have your 'A' game every single part, and I just didn't have those iron swings, as it showed on the back nine."

PHOTOS FROM THE MASTERS:

48 PHOTOS
Masters 2016
See Gallery
Willett wins Masters after Spieth's collapse
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Ian Poulter hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bubba Watson hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bernhard Langer hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Russell Knox hits a shot on the 8th hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Russell Knox hits from the rough on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bubba Watson plays a shot on the 8th hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Shane Lowry hits his tee shot on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy waves to the crowd after an eagle putt on the 13th green during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jason Day hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Kiradech Aphibarnrat holds up his golf ball after putting on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Keegan Bradley plays his approach to the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Ian Poulter hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Smylie Kaufman hits out of a bunker on the 10th hole during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Danny Lee of New Zealand stands on the second fairway during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Charl Schwartzel of South Africa plays his shot from the second tee during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Hunter Mahan of the United States plays his shot from the fourth tee during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth makes par on the 18th green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Hideki Matsuyama walks to the 18th green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Patrons applaud as Jordan Spieth walks off the 18th green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Zach Johnson (left) shakes hands with Rickie Fowler (right) after completing the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Webb Simpson hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Tom Watson reacts after missing a long putt on the 18th green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the 7th hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth putts on the 6th hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth hits a shot on the 5th hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Paul Casey hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy chips onto the 10th green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy after making a putt on the 2nd green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on the 2nd green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; General view of Martin Kaymer , Bill Haas and Rory McIlroy on the 2nd green during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth waves to the crowd after making a putt on the 1st green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his approach to the 2nd hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Hideki Matsuyama waves to the crowd after a birdie putt on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bernhard Langer putts on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy after putting on the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Billy Horschel chips onto the 2nd green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy waves to the crowd after putting on the 7th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the 7th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bernhard Langer hits his tee shot on the 7th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Hideki Matsuyama hits his tee shot on the 7th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Lee Westwood reacts after an eagle putt on the 15th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett reacts after putting on the 18th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett waves to the crowd after completing the 18th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth reacts after hitting his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Patrons cheer and clap for Danny Willett after Willett completed the 18th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Danny Willett waves to the crowd after completing the 18th hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
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