Danny Willett hailed a “ridiculously awesome” 12 days in his life after claiming his first major title with a dramatic victory in the 80th Masters.
Willett’s wife Nicole had been due to give birth to the couple’s first child on Sunday, but Zachariah James Willett arrived on March 29 to allow his father to play in the year’s first major.
The uncertainty meant the 28-year-old was the 89th and last player to register after only arriving at Augusta National on Monday, but took advantage of a dramatic collapse from defending champion Jordan Spieth who then had to present Willett with the famous green jacket.
“It’s just crazy, just surreal,” Willett said after a flawless closing 67 gave him a three shot victory over Spieth and playing partner Lee Westwood.
“Words can’t really describe the feelings and emotions. I’ve won a couple of golf tournaments around the world, but this is just a different league. It’s a major. It’s the Masters. I’m not quite sure which is better, this day or [the birth of my son] last Tuesday. I always said that I wouldn’t come here if he wasn’t born by now, which stuck. Fortunately enough, he listened to my prayers and he came early.”
“It’s just been the most ridiculously awesome 12 days I guess. Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now, but words definitely can’t describe how I was feeling last Tuesday when you get to hold something that me and my wife have made. It’s just been incredibly surreal.”
I think Mr. Willett won over a lot of new fans last weekend; not only because of his great play, but because of the personal choices he made.
Did you catch that part of his story? His son was due to be born on April 10, the final day of the Masters tournament. He had decided that if he wasn’t born before the tournament began, he would not enter. As it was, he was the last entry into the Masters because he waited until the last moment before doing so.
If his son had been born prior to the Masters, he would not have played. That meant…
- He would not have had the experience of playing in one of, if not the premiere golf tournament in the world
- He would not have won his first major championship
- He would not have taken home the 1.8 million dollar prize money
- He would not now be a member of the PGA
- We would still not know who Danny Willett was; he would still be an unknown golfer from England.
It’s a great story now, but would you be willing to give up the potential of all of that? On the unknown birth date of your first born?
Imagine if Danny Willett came to the USA, played the tournament and won. And imagine if his son was born on his due date…the day he won the Masters, instead of two weeks earlier.
Do you think he would feel the same about the victory? I don’t think so. And I don’t think most of us would think as highly of him as we do now if things played out that way. Why?
Here’s my point. His victory at the Masters meant a great deal to him because he lived by his values.
“Living out our values brings meaning to life’s greatest experiences.”
The opposite is true as well. When we make decisions that violate our values, even the good things in our lives, lose their meaning.
I love the Masters golf tournament. But this year I appreciated it as much for what we saw and were reminded of, off the course as what we saw on it. Thank you Mr. Willett for living by your values…for honouring your wife and new born child and showing the world what it means to live them out in the right priority.
Some of my own takeaways…
- Family first. This is actually second on our stated 5 family values in our home.
- Danny Willett would be just as blessed if he hadn’t played the Masters.
- Living out our values brings meaning to our life experiences.
- Living for money and meaning is impossible. Money – meaning = poverty.
- Choosing to live by our values gives us clarity when making decisions.
- You can’t replace relationships with money
What do you think?
Are you clear on the values that guide you? I wrote more about this here. Do you consistently live them out? Or do you violate them when put to the test?
Out of the following list of (90+) values, circle your top 10-12. Then consider how closely your life lines up with them.
Accomplishment, Affirmation Determination Genuineness Marriage Respect for life Success
Diligence Good taste Mentoring Respect for people Temperance
Ambition Efficiency Growth Nurturing Risk taking Tolerance
Authenticity Elegance Hard work Obedience Security Tranquility
Beauty Encouragement Honesty Orderliness Self-esteem Trust
Enlightenment Humility Patience Self-expression Truth
Career Excellence Humour Peace Sensitivity Winning
Caution Excitement Impact others Perfection Servanthood Worship
Collaboration Experiencing Independence Performance Service
Communicating Influence Persistence Sexual fulfillment
Community Faithfulness Inspiring others Personal power Silence
Compassion Family Integrity Physical vitality Sincerity
Competence Forgiveness Joy Productivity Solitude
Competition Forward thinking Love Purity Spiritual growth
Consistency Freedom Love of Learning Quality Stability
Frugality Loyalty Recognition
Creativity Fun Making money Relaxation
“Life balance, satisfaction and meaning begin with figuring out what you value most in life and then ordering your life around it.” Chris McCluskey
Are you unsure how to align your values with the life you’re living? Looking to make some changes? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange an initial free 30 minute Discovery Call. Let’s talk.