Willett earns special temporary status with consolation match win

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SAN FRANCISCO – Historically, the intensity of the bridesmaid match at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play has varied wildly from year to year.

While most years the consolation match means little, for Danny Willett the opportunity to pad his resume and expand his schedule was more than enough motivation to narrow his focus.

After falling behind early in his match with Jim Furyk, Willett – who lost the morning semifinal, 3 and 2, to Gary Woodland – birdied Nos. 12 and 13 and closed out the match on the 16th for a 3-and-2 victory.

The victory earned Willett $646,000 and special temporary membership on the PGA Tour this season, which means he can accept an unlimited number of sponsor exemptions. Combined with the $80,057 he’d already won this season, the Englishman likely secured a full Tour card for next year in the United States.

“Obviously we've played a few events now over here, and we've got a little bit of points and money up,” said Willett, who is playing next week’s Players. “We knew that a decent one today would potentially give us a card for next year, which was kind of what we were hoping for.”

Willett, who has 60 days to formally accept his special temporary status, has played five times this year on Tour, including a tie for 12th place at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.