Lee Westwood has made the best possible start in his attempt to retain his Indonesian Masters title after firing a seven-under-par 65 in the first round.
The 38-year-old world number three, who will attempt to secure his first Major triumph at the US Open in June after finishing third at the Masters earlier this month, could return to the top of the rankings if he can win the $750,000 Asian Tour event at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club. His odds to bet on US open golf will be dramatically slashed based on a victory or great performance in the Asian tour.
He said of that possibility: "I'm not far off at the moment in third place.
"It is always special to come back here. It is nice to come back and try to defend but I don't think it will be easy. It is tough to win one and it is even tougher to defend.
"I mastered the course last year and had the game plan right. All the players playing here wouldn't be in this tournament if they weren't capable of winning. No matter where you play in the world now it is difficult to win."
Westwood, who struggled with his putting at Augusta, never looked back in Indonesia after birdieing the first three holes and leads by two strokes after the first 18 holes from Arnold Vongvanij.
Westwood has been one of the most consistent golfers at recent Majors but frustratingly is still to break his duck.
For those looking to bet on golf it is worth considering his recent form. In the last 11 Majors, he has secured six top-three finishes - at the 2010 and 2012 Masters, last year’s US Open, the 2009 and 2010 Open Championships and the 2009 USPGA Championship.