Irish Open. Danny Willett Leads.

White Dragon Golf

Danny Willett leads Rory McIlroy by two shots after the first round of the Irish Open at The K Club.

Irish Open

Danny Willett / getty images

Danny carded a first round -7 under par 65 at The K Club, to lead by two shots at  Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation.

Danny missed the cut at last week’s Players Championship, and was happy to be back in Europe, and getting hot with the putter;

“First is never bad after one day. There’s still three days left and a lot can happen.”

“Things have been a bit mental but it’s just great to be back in Europe playing golf, being around the lads that I’ve obviously played golf with for the last eight years.”

 “I’m very happy to be back here.”

“We started off a little scrappy and then we just kept plodding along. Tried not to make too many mistakes.”

“We had seen that there are a few scores in and around two or three under par, which we were looking at being a really good score.”

“I just seemed to get hot with the putter on the back nine and rolled a few in, and not too many mistakes.”

Rory scored -5 under 67 in his opening effort, to be alone in second place. His putting is improving, only one three putt today;

“I gave myself plenty of chances,  we got the better of the conditions, but it was still tricky out there and you still had to go out there and play the shots.”

I did that, I holed a few putts and that was nice to see. I had a little bit of a blip on 14, but aside from that I was happy with how I played.”

“I felt like I controlled my ball nicely today, and I managed myself around the course quite well.”

“I think 5 under is a fair reflection of how I played. It’s my third week in a row but I still feel quite fresh, especially after coming off a three-week break after Augusta.”

Callum Shinkwin and Jaco Van Zyl are tied in third place, at -4 under par after their first rounds of 68.

At -3 under par are the defending champion Søren Kjeldsen, two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher.

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