Willett played just three times in the U.S. last year after his surprising win at the Masters, teeing it up at the Players Championship, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. A major victory can overhaul any well-crafted schedule, but Willett opted to skip last season’s FedEx Cup Playoffs to focus his efforts in Europe.
“The timing just didn’t work out last year,” Willett said. “We had lots going on with Ryder Cup points, me being up there in the Race to Dubai and trying to win that. So it just didn’t quite make sense to try to squeeze too many in there last year when we didn’t need to.”
Willett plans a more intercontinental schedule in 2017, beginning this week at PGA National where he bounced back from a rocky start to post a 1-under 69 in the opening round. While he “probably should have played” the Tournament of Champions in hindsight, Willett still plans to make about 17 PGA Tour starts this season, including upcoming stops at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Dell Match Play and RBC Heritage.
“We’ve actually got quite a nice next three months coming,” he said. “We’re probably going to chip in a couple more there in and around the majors, try to get the numbers up, so that hopefully we can play in the FedEx Cup.”