Shearer Says: “I was so lucky to be part of unbelievable Masters experience”
Seeing Danny on Sunday night with the Green Jacket was just surreal
I’ve been coming to Augusta for five years now and it is something I look forward to every year. The atmosphere yesterday though was just unbelievable. I was lucky enough to be part of the group with Chubby Chandler, who looks after Danny Willet and Lee Westwood, so with Danny winning and Westy coming second, it couldn’t have finished any better for us.
Seeing Danny come back to the house on Sunday night with the Green Jacket was just surreal. It was great to see someone so happy and elated after putting so much work into something. It was awesome to be a part of it.
I obviously played a team sport where you rely on everyone else to chip in and get you over the line. These lads though, they are basically on their own. I know they have the help of the caddies and coaches and what have you, but when you are out there on the course, it all comes down to what they do. As we saw what happened with Rory a few years ago and after what happened with Spieth this year, it can go wrong so quickly, so these guys need an incredible amount of mental strength to get through the pressure.
I said to Danny last night when we were having a beer, “please tell me you were feeling the pressure?” He said to me he was but he had his caddy out there to help him through it, to calm him down. They took the decision together to use a three-wood down the 18th instead of a driver. He ground the leaders down and fully deserved to win it.
The dream draw on Sunday for our camp was for Westwood and Willett to be paired together for the final round and when that was announced everyone was ecstatic. If either of them had been with an American, it would have been tough to get near them on the final round, but with the two Englishmen being together, we thought it would be great as not many people would be following them and that was the case in the early stages of the round. Then the excitement started unfolding. Westy chipped in at 15th and all of a sudden he was one off the lead. It was a dream to be a part of it.
Masters right at the top of my list for sporting events
Chubby was over the moon. He also has Matthew Fitzpatrick in his camp and he came through to finish in the top ten after shooting a five under par round on the final day, so Chubby had three golfers in the top ten.
Of all the sporting events I have been to around the world, the Masters has to be right at the top of the list. It was right up there before this weekend but just being around the team when Danny came back to the house last night was amazing. He came back at around 10pm after he had finished all the interviews that he had to do at Augusta, and it was probably one of the best nights I have ever had.
Danny was on our flight last Monday and it was bizarre. We were stood waiting for our clubs on arrival and I standing next to him thinking here’s a guy who has a genuine chance of winning the Masters and my clubs came off the flight first and Danny was still waiting for his! His wife obviously had their baby last week so what he was really looking forward to most of all was a bit of sleep! He would have been on such a high already going into the Masters, whatever happened at Augusta he would have been going home happy to his newborn son.
I asked what he thought of his chances, and he said “you never know.” I told some of the guys to have a few quid on him because on the three occasions I became a father I always played well in the next game and scored. They all had a good bet on him and I was the only one who didn’t back him! What was really great was when Danny got back to the house, there must have been over 100 people there and he went round to each and every one of them to speak to them and let people take pictures with him with the Green Jacket on. He could not have done it in a better way.
Another big winner this week was Darren Clarke. There were five Englishmen in the top ten so it is great for his Ryder Cup team.
Augusta Kate Aintree opposition just too good on the day
I think a new horse was mentioned to me at some stage last night but I’ll have to speak to people again to find out if we signed up to anything! I really don’t know what we would call it this time.
Augusta Kate ran an amazing race last week at Aintree. She just found one too good for her on the day. We had a great time watching her too. When you have a horse which tries and sticks her neck out like she did, you have half a chance.
One of my first questions to Danny last night was can you get me a round at Augusta. He had all his mates there so I think I am maybe seventh or eighth on the list so I’m still working on it! He obviously has the Green Jacket now so he can go back whenever he likes.
Man City will be full of confidence after getting away goals in Paris
I’m back to the day job this week, and it will be an exciting week in the Champions League as all four ties are very much alive going into the second legs. Manchester City will be full of confidence after getting the away goals in Paris. They are in a great position but so were Chelsea earlier in the season so they have to be cautious. PSG played well away from home in that tie. City will be confident they can go out and get the job done though.
Although Wolfsburg have a two goal advantage over Real Madrid, I still would not be confident of the German side progressing. With the Madrid forward line, anything can happen as they can score goals with ease. Ronaldo has now scored over 30 La Liga goals in each of the last six seasons, which is a staggering achievement.
In the Europa League, Liverpool came away from Dortmund with a big result. If they can get past the German side in the second leg, they’ll be favourites to win the tournament and then qualify for the Champions League. It was a great atmosphere in the first leg. Klopp rightfully got a fantastic reception. It could be an exciting week for English football.
I’m covering the FA Cup quarter-final replay between West Ham and Manchester United on Wednesday for the BBC. I’m looking forward to that game. I watched Spurs vs Manchester United before we went out onto the course yesterday and United were poor. They only had one shot on target which is not good enough for a club with their history.
Leicester don’t seem to be feeling the pressure at all
People keep talking about Leicester and the pressure but they don’t seem to be feeling it at all. They are getting the job done. They are solid defensively as they are not conceding goals. Jamie Vardy is back on the scoresheet for them. They are showing no signs of letting it slip. It is brilliant to see.
I watched the Southampton vs Newcastle game on Saturday and for the first 45 minutes they didn’t show up again. It looks like they are going down without a fight. When they did start to play with 20 minutes to go, it was too late. They have it all to do and with performances like that, you can’t see them getting out of it. If they do go down, I would be amazed if Benitez was to stay in the Championship. I can’t see that happening at all.
It’s also bleak for Sunderland so if both teams go down, it would be a disaster for football in the North East. We all know what football means to people in that area. I know Middlesbrough are flying high in the Championship but to lose Sunderland and Newcastle would be terrible. Both clubs have been flirting with relegation for a number of years now, very much like Aston Villa. If or when it happens, I don’t think either club can complain as not enough has been done to keep them up.