Defending champion Spieth held a five-shot lead with nine holes to play at Augusta National, but saw his hopes of back-to-back titles effectively disappear when he ran up a quadruple-bogey on the 12th.
Willett was perfectly placed to capitalise thanks to a flawless closing round of 67 which made him the first English winner for 20 years and the first European champion since 1999.
And after rising to a career-high ninth in the world rankings, the 28-year-old has no intention on resting on his laurels, despite having also become a father for the first time just 12 days before his Masters triumph -how wife Nicole giving birth to Zachariah James.
“I’m a long way behind points wise but it’s always been a goal of mine to be number one in the world,” Willett told Press Association Sport.
“It’s the reason you get up in the morning and go training, to go and hit balls and putt. It’s what you do and how you go about your daily business to try and achieve something great.
“Fortunately I’ve now tasted the top echelons of the sport and you just want more. You want to keep dedicating yourself to working hard and playing good golf and hope to be more and more in them positions on a Sunday afternoon at majors, World Golf Championships and normal PGA and European Tour events. That’s what we work for.
“We’re going to try and enjoy a bit of normal time off and then get straight back to the job in hand of trying to achieve those goals.
“There’s no targets been set in terms of that (number of majors). I think the only target you can set yourself is how hard you work and if you can tick that box and you’re working hard at the right things, if you win a couple of golf tournaments along the way that’s fantastic.
“And if that can take you to some of them dreams I guess, not goals, then that would be fantastic. A dream of mine was to win major championships and that’s what I dedicated myself to do, to work hard and gain that self belief it one day might happen and weirdly, three days ago, that’s exactly what did happen.
“I don’t like to set myself goals in terms of winning X amounts of tournaments, it’s more just ticking boxes of doing the right things every day.”
Asked if he would get the credit he deserved in the light of Spieth’s collapse, Willett added: “I don’t really mind what people think, who won or who lost. I am obviously able to sit here in the green jacket and enjoy it.
“Part of golf is being able to handle certain things, handle the pressure and hit the right shots at the right time. If I’d have shot 72 and Jordan did what he did it would have been a different story.
“I was able to put myself in a position where if anyone did make a mistake we were there to capitalise and that’s we did. It’s what (Nick) Faldo did in ’96 with (Greg) Norman, it’s what happened many a time in golf tournaments around the world. That’s golf, that’s life.
“I do feel very fortunate that I was in the position to be able to capitalise on a few of the things that happened to Jordan. He had a bad beat on 12. He might not have hit the best golf shot in the world but the punishment around there is massive. But I still had to be in the position to go ahead and do what I did.
“Who won, who lost, I don’t really know what people are going to think and I’m not really that fussed to be fair.”
Jordan Spieth was within seven holes of joining some seriously esteemed company as a back-to-back winner of the Masters, as only Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo have previously achieved the feat.
Instead, he will now be placed alongside Scott Hoch, Rory McIlroy and Greg Norman as suffering one of the most spectacular collapses in Augusta history. Arguably, Spieth’s is the most shocking, given his metronomic proficiency around the course. Hoch, Norman and McIlroy had never worn the Green Jacket before they self-destructed, for Spieth he’s looked mostly unbreakable every time he’s set foot on the Georgia fairways.
Hiccups during his second and third rounds this year gave his rivals an outlet but, bar McIlroy on Friday and the unheralded Smylie Kaufman (an unlikely winner) on Saturday, nobody was able to put significant pressure on the Texan.
In the end, the pressure all came from within. Bogeys on 10th and 11th displayed a semblance of nerves from Spieth but it wasn’t as if anyone below him was scoring with any great frequency to directly influence the matter.
The real body blow was what transpired on 12 – Golden Bell, or ‘Golden Hell’ as it has been renamed by some of its victims.
Nicklaus and Gary Player both dropped shots there to surrender the Green Jacket in 1981 and 1962, respectively; ‘Towering Inferno’ Tom Weiskopf melted with a 13 in 1980; in 1985 Payne Stewart set the template for Spieth by hitting Rae’s Creek twice and finishing with a 9; while Woods wrecked his chances of a Grand Slam in 2000 by triple-bogeying it on day one.
Even in catastrophic defeat, Spieth cannot escape history.
As he admitted, he rushed his tee shot on a hole he had birdied just 24 hours earlier. It then got considerably worse. But this wasn’t any great risk-taking, he was still comfortably ahead of the chasing pack. Instead four days of indifferent iron play erupted on one hole. After battling back with two birdies, to spark visions of a fairytale finish, Spieth’s challenge then died with a bogey on 17.
Immediately interviewed after, Spieth was close to tears, he spoke about being confident of being part of a “closing team” and then later on at the presentation ceremony he stumbled backwards in presenting Willett with the Green Jacket. But while his competitive spirit was manifested in its most negative way – winning was the only option, defeat too much to bear – was he being a little too hard on himself?
The reality is Spieth’s no rank outsider wasting his only ever chance of winning. He’ll be in contention for at least the next 10-15 Masters. He’s not a huge driver of the ball (75th on the PGA Tour), his game is about touch and class on the greens; injuries, physical ones at least, shouldn’t be an issue.
What transpired on Sunday is another chapter in his own, ‘how to win majors’ mental guidebook. History tells us, the best tend to bounce back, learning from such folly. Spieth knows he lost it as much as ice-cool Willett won it. But his chances to claim more majors will invariably fall well into double figures and, as he showed last year, win them he can.
He admitted it will be tough to put behind him and the healing could take time, but overthinking what he did and how much it matters would be a grave mistake.
History, and Spieth’s place in it, should be as much of a guide for the 22-year-old, as a pressure.
Danny Willett won the 2016 Masters in surprising fashion after Jordan Spieth took a quadruple bogey 7 on the 12th hole.
Jordan Spieth said it would take time to process the loss, a fact that can’t have been made easier by the Masters tradition where the previous winner helps the new champion on with his winner’s jacket.