Like many new mothers, Nicole Willett is becoming familiar with sleepless nights — but it was not her newborn baby keeping her awake on Sunday.
The wife of Danny Willett had been watching him become the first English winner of the Masters for 20 years.
Mrs Willett, who was also celebrating her 28th birthday yesterday, cradled her two-week-old son, Zachariah, as she said: “I’ve had an hour and a half worth of sleep, so I don’t know what I’ll look like in the photos.
“It’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had,” said Nicole Willett
“It’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had. It really has been a whirlwind of a two weeks,” she said at the family home near Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
Zachariah had been due on the final day of the Masters but was delivered by caesarean section before the start of the tournament after Willett, 28, insisted that he would not play if it meant missing the birth of his first child.
After putting on the green jacket awarded to Masters winners, Willett said that the best message of support came from his wife, who said she would be proud of him however well he played.
“That’s life and luckily for me that’s where I am able to go back to every week and that’s what it’s all about, family and friends not really caring whether you win or you don’t win,” he told ITV News.
“Little man was due today but he came early to help his Dad out. Looking forward to getting home and locking the door and throwing the key away for a week and enjoying spending time with Nic and Zac.”
As Mrs Willett was adapting to life as a champion’s wife, the golfer’s older brother was hoping that pupils at the school where he is a teacher would understand if he also appeared tired.
Peter Willett, 29, had become a Twitter hit while he watched the final at his home in Birmingham. Reminiscences of sibling rivalry and tales of sharing a bedroom and baths at their childhood home in Sheffield were interspersed with obvious pride. At the start of the final round, Peter sent his brother a message saying: “You still owe me a birthday present. I’d like a jacket. A green one.”
As Willett moved into an unexpected lead, his brother wrote: “If the boy does what he should, I will be able to say I’ve shared a bath with a Masters winner.” Then after his brother finally clinched victory, Peter’s message was: “Green makes you look fat, refuse the jacket.”
Recalling how they had fought as children, he wrote: “Speechless. I once punched that kid in the head for hurting my pet rat. Now look.”
He later clarified the comment, explaining: “It’s a slight embellishment, I actually threw a Kinder egg terrapin at him, but it drew blood, so as good as a punch.”
Realising that it was a school night, Peter wrote: “When I’m too tired to teach a good lesson tomorrow, some kid spits at me, I’m just gonna smile and say, ‘I won Twitter’.”
Mr Willett, who is head of performing arts at Grace Academy in Solihull, West Midlands, recalled yesterday: “I was having a lovely evening in with my wife, coming up with the most ridiculous tweets I could think of. I don’t know what my brother’s made of it yet, but I think he finds me generally quite annoying.”
Willett’s father, Stephen, a retired Church of England vicar, revealed that he used to allow his son time off lessons at The City School in Sheffield so that he could go to the golf course.
“Every Wednesday — my wife used to argue with me — I’d take him to a golf club, drop him off, pick him up at 8 o’clock at night and get told off for keeping him off school,” he said.
“The last few years have been meteoric. We’ve sat here with our mouths open. He’s in a different world at the moment. He’s living the dream.”