Danny Willett says there are “promising signs” after his strong start to the Turkish Airlines Open on Thursday. Willett, who caused a huge shock when winning the 2016 Masters at Augusta National, has struggled for form and fitness over the past season and he has slipped to world number 322 as a result.
The Englishman has not tasted success since his Georgia triumph but he has started to rediscover some of his better form over the last couple of months, with two top-10 finishes at the Italian Open and Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
He came into this week’s event in Antalya off the back of a tie for 23rd at The CJ Cup and the 31-year-old managed to keep the momentum going as he signed for a four-under-par 67, leaving him three shots off leader Paul Dunne.
Willett is delighted to be back in contention and playing pain-free after being hampered by injuries earlier in the campaign.
“Everything’s been really positive. The putter’s struggled the last three or four months. Missed a lot of short ones, the last couple of months, especially,” he told the European Tour website.
“That’s an area where we are looking into now and you can make a hell of a lot of gains inside eight, ten feet if you’re holing it well.
“The long game and the body are in a really good place which is nice. The end of the season is always a tricky one, guys pick up injuries. You’ve played 20-odd times around the world travelling and we are actually body-wise better than what we have ever been, which is nice, and the golf is coming on well.
“All promising signs, really, to try and kick on.”