In Form Danny Willett one behind leader in Malaysia
Danny Willett continued his red hot streak at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia on Thursday after carding a superb opening round of 65 to finish one shot behind Australian leader Nathan Holman.
The 28-year-old Englishman started sluggishly and was one over par through seven holes but he reeled off a succession of birdies on the back nine to move to six under. Holman is out in front at seven under-par while Frenchman Alexander Levy and American Peter Uihlein join Willett in a six-way share of second place.
In form Willett, who posted a top ten finish in the British Open golf tournament last year, secured his fourth European Tour title earlier this month at the Dubai Desert Classic and has recently climbed to a career high world ranking of 13th, up from 134th back in June 2014.
He is also currently third in the Ryder Cup 2016 European team standings after a further top five finishes at the HSBC Champions, World Tour Championship and Nedbank Golf Challenge events in recent months. Willett said he tried to put his good form to the back of his mind during his round at Kuala Lumpur’s Royal Selangor Golf Club.
He added: “It is always easy to come to a tournament after you’ve won and put pressure on yourself to go out and do it again. I’ve done that before and it kind of kills you. So I came here, tried to do the same things, kept working hard and tried to hit the same shots. And it seemed to work for me today.”
Elsewhere, former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is eight shots back after an opening round of 72 while Miguel Angel Jimenez struggled on his way to a four over par 75. Former US Masters champion Louis Oosthuizen is in contention after a four-under par 67.