Willett has fun eyeing a calendar grand slam

Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:08pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Two months after winning his first major at the Masters, Danny Willett is having fun sizing up the prospect of becoming the first professional to complete a calendar grand slam of the four blue riband events.

Tiger Woods came closest by holding all four majors at the same time after clinching the 2001 Masters, though his victories were spread across two years in what become known as the 'Tiger Slam'.

Twelve months ago, Jordan Spieth raised hopes of becoming the first professional to complete the calendar slam with wins at the Masters and U.S. Open but fell short by finishing joint fourth at the British Open and second at the PGA Championship.

"What Jordan did last year was awesome," Englishman Willett told a packed U.S. Open news conference at Oakmont Country Club on Tuesday. "We've not seen that for a while, obviously since Tiger's days.

"It's projected that all the top 50 are going to play this week, which hasn't happened that much over the last 10 years. You look at the strength of the field and it would be fantastic to even be somewhere thereabouts come Sunday."

American amateur Bobby Jones completed the original grand slam, the so-called 'Impregnable Quadrilateral', in 1930 by winning the British Amateur, the British Open, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur but that came before the Masters was founded.

Willett, as Masters champion, is the only player in this week's field of 156 capable of going on to complete a calendar grand slam of the majors this year.

"You've got to keep breaking it down. You can't look at it as a whole," the 28-year-old from Sheffield said about taking it one challenge at a time.   Continued...

Jun 14, 2016; Oakmont, PA, USA; Danny Willett addresses the media in a press conference during the practice rounds on Tuesday of the 2016 U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont CC. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports