Masters champion Willett makes a move #UBSHKOpen

Fri 09 Dec 2016

Masters champion Willett makes a move #UBSHKOpen

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Hong Kong, December 9: Englishman Danny Willett recovered from an opening bogey to shoot four-under-par 66 in the on-going second round of the UBS Hong Kong Open on Friday.
Willett, the reigning Masters Tournament champion, bounced back from a slow start with five birdies to set the clubhouse target on six-under-par 134 at the US$2 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who has an impeccable track record in the event, produced a 68 to lie one shot back of Willett alongside Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei, who fired a 66, at the venerable Hong Kong Golf Club.
The world number 12 Willett bogeyed his opening 11 but recovered nicely with a hat-trick of birdies to stay in the hunt at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
“Yeah, starting the worst way, making bogey on the first hole but bouncing back with three good birdies, and I had a few nice chances on the next few and didn't quite take any. Hit it pretty steady on the front nine,” said Willett.
Thogchai Jaidee of Thailand Thogchai Jaidee of Thailand
“The scoring around this place never gets too daft, just purely because of the nature of it. A few really tricky holes out there, and even though there's not that much wind there, there's a little bit flicking around and bounces around in the trees,” he added.
Willett, who is searching for a first win since his Major breakthrough in April, was delighted to return to his best form since taking a few weeks off from golf to recover from a back injury.
“It's nice to be in this position after the last few months. We obviously took a couple of weeks off because of the back and stuff and rested it well. Actually took some proper time off, which I've not been able to do for a while. That was really nice.
“Then came out here, probably as fresh as I've been for a month and a half, which is nice, and it's probably showed mentally more than anything. The frustrations, even when you hit bad shots, you don't let it get to you as much as I did probably in the previous couple of months,” said Willett.
Thongchai kept up his chase to finish inside the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking after trading three birdies against one bogey. He is currently two places off his target.
He was disappointed not to finish higher on the leaderboard after missing several makeable birdie putts at the Fanling course, a venue where he finished in tied second place in 2009.
“I couldn't hole any short putts. Leaderboard is going to be really easy to get on the top but unfortunately I couldn't putt well. I missed all my short putts for birdie,” lamented Thongchai.
“I'm very confident with my iron play and definitely struggling with putting because the greens are so difficult. It is very tough to putt and very difficult to control the distance here,” said the Thai.
Ends.