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Danny Willett has Rory McIlroy in his sights

05 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Danny Willett has Rory McIlroy in his sights

A stunning 2015 has propelled the Englishman up the world rankings - he can make further progress at this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

To say Danny Willett is enjoying a breakthrough season would not be saying enough.

The Englishman is primed to overtake the injured Rory McIlroy at the top of the European Tour money list – and could well do so at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week.

There is no reason why Willett, who has climbed to a career-high of 24th in the Official World Golf Ranking, shouldn’t enjoy another memorable week at Firestone in Akron.

50/1 – Danny Willett to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

The 27-year-old has never played better, claiming his second title of the 2015 season at the Omega European Masters last month – the week after finishing as the joint-leading British player at the Open Championship.

The former Jacksonville State University student is also at ease playing alongside the game’s best players on American soil.

He finished 12th and third at the first two World Golf Championship events of the year – the Cadillac Championship and Cadillac Match Play respectively – and was a creditable tied 38th in his debut appearance at the Masters in April.

This week’s tournament boasts a $9.25m prize fund and features 48 of the world’s top 50 players, including Jordan Spieth, who tees up for the first time since tying for fourth at St Andrews, and Jason Day, who won the RBC Canadian Open last time out.

But that is the company Willett wants – and will now expect – to keep.

He has been in inspired form since winning the lucrative Nedbank Golf Challenge in his first start of the campaign and trails McIlroy by less than 400,000 points in the Race to Dubai.

Having finished 25th in last year’s Race and won his maiden Tour title – the BMW International Open – in 2012, he attributes his recent elevation to finally overcoming a long-standing back injury.

12/1 – Danny Willett to finish in the top 5 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

It is also a reflection of the fine margins in top-level sport.

Qualifying for the sport’s most-prestigious tournaments is like receiving an upgrade to business class for the first time – the new surroundings are alluring and you will never want to fly economy again.

That sense of belonging, if channelled correctly, can make a difference on the course.

Willett clearly feels at home and, with next week’s US PGA Championship and the season-ending Final Series still to look forward to, the best may be yet to come.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational betting

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