Danny Willett put in his annual appearance at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre for the Betfred World Championship today.

But how things have changed for the 28-year-old Yorkshireman, who grew up in Hackenthorpe, since his last visit to the tournament 12 months’ ago.

Willett, of course, sensationally won a first career Major at the Masters and one of the most famous golf courses of them all, Augusta National, earlier this month.

A superb final-round 67 left him perfectly placed to capitalise on any slip-ups from leader Jordan Spieth.

And when the American imploded around Amen Corner, Willett was able to take full advantage to win by three shots just days after the birth of son Zachariah. Willett became only the second Englishman to win the Masters after Nick Faldo.

Willett was besieged by well-wishers, autograph hunters and media in Sheffield, but dealt with all with good humour, clearly relaxed among his own in his home city.

He played a filmed frame with 1985 world champion Dennis Taylor, who hauled himself out of hospital not to miss the date after an appendix operation.

And Willett was then given a huge ovation in the arena, interviewed by Hazel Irvine on the BBC before the start of the final last-16 matches, including Ronnie O’Sullivan against Barry Hawkins.

Willett, in attendance with manager Chubby Chandler and other friends, said: “It was great fun to be here at the Betfred World Championship and play that frame with Dennis Taylor.

“We had been arranging it for a while, but obviously he has not been very well and in hospital with the appendix operation at the weekend.

“We were supposed to do it earlier in the tournament, but luckily he was here today and we could get it on.

“But it is always great fun to come down the Crucible, and see the crowd – Sheffield is brilliant for this event, and it comes alive for it.

“It is a legendary sporting venue and I love coming here to be part of it to watch a couple of sessions including Ronnie O’Sullivan in the evening.

"There are a lot of similarities between two individual sports. In snooker there is a lot of time sitting in your chair with demons in your head and a lot of time to think, and it is the same in golf."

Willett also reflected on his own momentous triumph at Augusta National earlier this month.

He added: “A bit of Yorkshire grit got the job done in Augusta. If Jordan Spieth makes mistakes and no one is there t capitalise, then nothing comes of it and there is no story.

“But happily we were able to shoot a last-round 67 and put a bit of pressure on, and if someone made mistakes then we were there jumping in.

“That’s what we did. It will always be one of them ‘’Did I win it, or did he lose it’. But we ended up winning by three shots, which is a pretty big margin for someone losing it.

“You put yourself in position and it was one of those fortunate Sundays where things go your way.”