Thursday, 18 February 2016
Danny Willett  (Getty Images)
Danny Willett (Getty Images)

Danny Willett refused to get carried away after continuing his impressive start to the European Tour season with an opening 65 at the Maybank Championship Malaysia.

The Englishman's win last time out at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic made it two top fives in three events and followed on from an impressive finish to 2015, when he claimed two top five finishes in the Final Series.

That run of form has helped fire Willett to 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking, but the 28 year old has learned from previous experiences and is keeping his feet firmly on the ground with the Masters Tournament less than two months away.

"It was a very long flight here and my body only started feeling right yesterday," he said. "I was coming down with a bit of a cold, but I feel fine now.

"One thing I tried to do was to keep expectations as low as possible. 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.

We're just going to keep working hard and if it falls on the right weeks and the weeks you're playing well are the Major weeks, then happy days - Danny Willett

Willett turned in one under par 34 but hit his stride after the turn, chipping in for eagle on the 13th and following that with back-to-back birdies before sinking a huge putt on the last to get within a shot of first-round leader Nathan Holman.

And while Willett was pleased with his day's work, he admitted to being exasperated by the mercurial nature of golf.

"It's a strange old game," he said. "We hit it close a lot on the front nine and made nothing until eight and nine and then I've hit it a bit poorly on the back nine but really taken advantage of the par fives and holed two really long ones.

"It goes in circles - you miss a few short ones and you never expect to hole a long one like that, especially going at that pace, but I'll take it.

"We're doing all the right things, the work that we're doing is the same week-in, week-out. I'm trying to keep the feelings as similar as possible.

"But it's a stupid game. You can play well and shoot millions or scab it a bit and shoot a good score. Fortunately a few things went our way today so hopefully we can keep riding that wave."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FRASER, MarcusAUS18-15
T2TABUENA, MiguelPHI18-13
T2LEE, SoominKOR18-13
T4QUESNE, JulienFRA18-12
T6BLAND, RichardENG18-11

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