Graeme McDowell tied for the lead after first round of Maybank Malaysian Open

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell

Ryder Cup team-mates Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood matched each other virtually shot-for-shot to share the first-round lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The pair – who shared a ninth-placed finish in Dubai last week – both carded six-under-par 66s, recording their only bogeys at the 420-yard sixth, to edge one clear of England’s Tommy Fleetwood.

It was no surprise as McDowell, 20th in the world, and Westwood, 30th and defending champion, are the two highest-ranked players in the field at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Westwood, starting at the 10th, had four birdies to the turn while McDowell, playing in the group behind, had three.

McDowell birdied the first and second to be five under through 11 with Westwood reaching a similar score after 12.

Westwood missed a six-foot par putt at the sixth - McDowell failed to get up and down from the front of that green - but holed a six-footer at the seventh and again from 20 feet at the ninth.

McDowell also birdied those holes and could have had the outright lead had he not missed from five feet at the short eighth.