For a second successive year the 2016 Masters Tournament winner selected Prostate Cancer UK as the tournament’s Official Charity and title sponsors Betfred pledged to donate £1,000 for every birdie and £2,000 for every eagle made by Willett at The Belfry directly to the charity.
The 34-year-old secured £12,000 before the weekend, carding eight birdies alone during Friday’s second round on the iconic Brabazon Course. He then recorded seven further birdies during Saturday and Sunday’s rounds for a £19,000 total. Over the last two years as host of the Betfred British Masters, Willett alone has raised £38,000 for the charity as Betfred also donated £1,000 for every birdie made by the Yorkshireman in 2021.
The eight-time DP World Tour winner is a long-term supporter of Prostate Cancer UK and proudly wore the charity’s ‘Man of Men’ badge during the tournament as 50,000 spectators descended on the four-time Ryder Cup venue across the week.
“It’s an amazing contribution,” said Willett. “Betfred’s help during the week has been phenomenal, and it’s nice to actually get the guys in and watch some golf live and have some interaction with fans. It’s been a really special week.
“It shows their massive support over these last two years, with me being the host and the even the previous three or four years before that in sponsoring the British Masters, they have been tremendous in it, during COVID to still keep up the sponsorship and prize fund as they have, they have been amazing. Last year at the tournament, there were no fans due to COVID-19. Not only have we raised a lot of money for Prostate Cancer UK, we have also raised a lot of awareness about the disease. Fans were able to go to the tented village this week, speak to people about it and have a one-on-one interaction with a representative from the charity.”
Before the tournament, Willett was sent a good luck video message by Steve Rolley, one of his former junior coaches with England Golf. Rolley was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2021 after being randomly selected for a BARCODE1 trial led by The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. After receiving treatment at The Royal Marsden late last year, Rolley experienced a positive outcome and no further issues are envisaged.
“I remember Steve from EGU coaching at Woodhall Spa and in Spain,” added Willett, who later spoke to Rolley on the phone. “I was surprised to hear that scenario and what he’s gone through in the last 18 months. Lucky that he randomly took part and they got it early enough, and now he’s got the all-clear and is good and healthy again. It’s another one of those things where someone who you know has been affected by it, but luckily he’s seen the other side.” More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the United Kingdom and one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Many supporters descended on the event village across the four days, helping raise even more funds for Prostate Cancer UK by taking on the long putt and chipping challenges, and speaking to charity volunteers to learn more about the disease. Including Danny’s birdies, the charity were proud to raise more than £48,000.
Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “What an incredible week. We’re so proud Danny Willett once again picked Prostate Cancer UK as his charity of choice for the Betfred British Masters, and are also hugely grateful to the DP World Tour staff for allowing him to host the event for an unprecedented second time, this time with fans returning to the iconic Belfry course.
“Aside from a flurry of birdies from Danny there was also some fantastic fundraising in the event village, including the hugely popular long putt challenge, and those playing in the Pro-Am event, which meant we raised more than £48,000. That game-changing contribution will help fund lifesaving research to beat prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men. Heartfelt thanks to Danny and his management team, Betfred and the DP World Tour for their continued support, for The Belfry for hosting us, and the players, caddies, marshals and fans who showed their backing during the week. Men, we are with you.”
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “Danny was an excellent tournament host both on and off the golf course and we are delighted to donate £19,000 to his chosen charity, Prostate Cancer UK.”
Kit Gartrell, Championship Director of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, said: “We were delighted to work alongside Prostate Cancer UK, Danny Willett’s chosen Official Charity for the Betfred British Masters once again. Prostate cancer is a disease which affects one in eight men, so to help raise awareness of the disease amongst the 50,000 strong crowd we welcomed to The Belfry last week was incredibly important. We applaud Danny for his efforts on the golf course and the staff and volunteers from Prostate Cancer UK for their tireless work off the course as significant funds were raised across the week.”
To find out more about Prostate Cancer UK’s work in golf, including their Big Golf Race, in which players can take on two or four rounds in a day, visit prostatecanceruk.org/golf.