Chris Paisley finds form in 1st round of Maybank Championship

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Chris Paisley finds form in 1st round of Maybank Championship

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Chris Paisley finds form in 1st round of Maybank Championship

Chris Paisley is in the best form of his life. He’s playing so well he might be scared to take a week off in case the magic disappears. 

The former University of Tennessee player leads the $3 million Maybank Championship after an opening 7-under-par 65. He holds a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman David Horsey.

The 31-year-old Paisley was bogey free for his round, with three birdies over the front nine and four on the back.

Paisley began the year by winning the BMW SA Open, his first European Tour win. He followed it up with back-to-back fifth place finishes in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Counting his opening round over Saujana Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Paisley is 55 under par for his last 13 rounds.

“It was great and nice to keep the form going,” Paisley said. “I just played really solid, hit it well off the tee so gave myself a lot of wedges and short irons into the greens which were really good and gave myself a lot of birdie chances. It couldn’t have gone better.

“It’s very hot and not much wind, so scoring wise it is quite easy, but to keep your focus is quite difficult with how tiring the heat is.”

Paisley is currently fourth on the European Tour money list, He is 80th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Not bad for someone who began the year ranked No. 282.

The quiet Englishman is perhaps being dragged along in the coattails of reigning European No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood. They played on the same 2009 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team that lost at Merion. Paisley earned two half points out of three matches as GB&I lost 16.5 – 9 ½.

Both players turned professional following the Walker Cup. However, Paisley’s career has stuttered while Fleetwood’s made a seamless jump to the European Tour. Paisley’s made five trips to the European Tour Qualifying School since 2009, and has alternated between the European Tour and European Challenge Tour. He spent two full seasons, 2012 and 2014, on the Challenge Tour but has finally found his feet on the main tour.

He seems to be making up nicely for lost time.

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