A Foston physiotherapist who helped Danny Willett become the first British winner of the US Masters in 20 years, says he ‘always knew Danny was going to be one of the best’.
Yet without the support of Foston physio Paul Farquharson, who has been helping the Sheffield golfer overcome a long-term back problem, Danny may never have got the chance to slip on that most prized green jacket.
It was about four years ago that Paul first began treating Danny, alongside other elite sportsmen and women as part of his Newark-based business Spectrum Physiotherapy.
Then, about 18 months ago, Danny requested that Paul join him on tour in order to help him manage his ongoing back injury.
“It can be difficult for these guys after spending hours on a plane, to then untangle their bodies and prepare for competitions,” said Paul. “As well as the physio, I help Danny with his fitness and movement.”
Paul recalls the pivotal moment of the Masters when Danny overtook American favourite Jordan Spieth. He says that he is not sure how his client and friend coped with the pressure at the time.
“I was watching on the course, and when I realised that Danny could win it I had a tear in my eye,” said Paul.
His victory has rocketed Danny up the rankings from 110th in the world to ninth. “I always knew that Danny was going to be one of the best,” adds Paul.
While the 49-year-old physio has been getting used to jetting off to far away places, and of course staying in five star resorts complete with the world’s top golf courses, he says nothing quite compared to the party celebrating Danny’s win.
“Danny and all his team stayed in a big house, and we had everyone come back for a party afterwards, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Alan Shearer and Kenny Daglish. It was surreal!” says Paul.
Now he is back home in Foston with his wife Jo, a fellow physiotherapist who specialises in supporting children and the elderly, and their two daughters, 9-year-old Eva and Ines, four.
The family have also spent time with Danny, who himself only became a father for the first time days before the start of the US Masters.
After enjoying a well-deserved break and some quality time with their families, both Danny and Paul will soon be on a plane again as they make their way to the Irish Open in May.