Danny Willett came to professional golf with a distinguished amateur career, including victories in the English Amateur, Australian Amateur and Spanish Amateur as well as being ranked the number one amateur in the world in 2008.
He turned professional later that year and qualified for the European Tour at his first attempt through the qualifying school.
He made immediate progress when he came through 2009 with eight top-10s and comfortably retaining his card. By 2010 he had broken into the top 100 on the world rankings.
And then in 2012 he made his breakthrough with a victory in the BMW International Open on the European Tour. Willett celebrated by proposing to his girlfriend Nicole. And in 2013 he achieved his best-ever finish in a Major of tied 15th in the Open Championship.
The son of a preacher, Willett has certainly been rewarded for his own faith in his potential, and there was a definite sense of relief when he claimed his first European Tour title.
“It’s brilliant. I mean, it’s what you work for since you're a little kid. It took a little while longer than what I probably hoped, but it feels so good to win,” said Willett.
Willett admits there was tremendous expectation around him when he turned professional to build on his incredible amateur career.
“Ideally I would have won earlier, but winning a bit later on was probably a good thing because I was a bit more mature then when I first came on tour. You get the question all the time, namely that you were the best amateur in the world at one point and should have won sooner.
“But the professional game is a completely different one. You know, the guys out here are brilliant. They play week in, week out, and it's competitive. I'm just thankful to have won once already.”
If that was a memorable moment for Willett, then so was his 13 000-foot skydive in Dubai earlier this year.
Willett did the jump as part of a charity drive to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. And even this has given Willett a different perspective on his career.
“In all fairness, if you stand on the first tee, trying to hit a drive into the fairway, that now seems a little bit less nerve wracking than jumping out of a plane at 13 000 feet.
“As soon as you jump out, you’re looking down and all you can see is obviously the sea and surrounding area and you're thinking, ‘What are we doing?’. Then after the initial jump, you start to kind of level out and it feels like you're floating down. It's unbelievable.”
Willett will be bringing his lucky casino chip to Sun City with him, which could be a good omen at Africa’s most famous gaming resort. He uses it to mark his ball on the greens.
“I’ve used that for years. I got it on my first year on Tour. It was in a casino in Korea. There was one in the hotel, which is always dangerous,” he said with a smile.