Englishman Lee Westwood (18/1 British Masters outright) has revealed some extra preparation ahead of the British Masters helped him post a solid opening round at The Grove on Thursday to move into contention in the early stages.

Westwood arrived into the tournament on the back of missed cuts at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship whilst a poor showing at the 2016 Ryder Cup was also added to the list.

The 43-year-old from Worksop managed to put the recent failings behind him and adapt to the colder conditions at Chandlers Cross in Hertfordshire.

He looked back to his previous best out on course and managed to make six birdies and two bogeys, signing for a four-under-par 66 to sit just one off the pace.

Sweden’s Alex Noren (11/1) and the English five-piece of Andrew Johnston, James Morrison, Richard Bland, Lee Slattery and David Horsey are also sitting on -4 after impressive rounds.

Scotland’s Marc Warren (18/1), Finland’s Mikko Ilonen (22/1), Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (10/1) and South African Richard Sterne (14/1) are in a four-way tie for the lead after carding five-under 66’s.

For Westwood, it is clear improvement from recent outings and he has paid huge significance to some extra swing research for the change in fortunes.

“I’ve been working on a couple of things on my swing, trying to get a swing thought, looking back at old videos when I played well and got in good positions,” he said. “I managed to implement that today. That’s what golfers do.”

Tyrrell Hatton, fresh off his Alfred Dunhill Links victory, is currently two strokes off the lead and is priced at 12/1 to make it back-to-back wins.

The English ace is joined on -3 by Anthony Wall, Gregory Bourdy, Bernd Wiesberger, Soren Kjeldsen, Scott Jamieson, Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry and Chris Wood.

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Odds subject to change.