England’s in-form Danny Willett is within one shot of the lead after the opening round of the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.
The 28-year-old, who won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this month, carded a six-under 65 to end the day behind Australian leader Nathan Holman.
Willett has climbed to 13th in the world rankings from 134th in June 2014.
He is joined in a six-way share of second by compatriot Tommy Fleetwood and Frenchman Alexander Levy.
Willett is also third in Europe’s rankings ahead of September’s Ryder Cup meeting with the United States after top-five finishes at the Nedbank Golf Challenge,World Tour Championship and HSBC Champions events in the last four months.
But he says that he tried to put his recent run of good form out of his mind as he picked up seven shots over the final 11 holes to climb up the leaderboard at Kuala Lumpur’s Royal Selangor Golf Club.
“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,” he said.
“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.”