Howell impresses in Abu Dhabi
DAVID Howell hailed his ‘best-ever’ start at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after a three-under-par opening round put him in a tie for fifth.
The Broome Manor pro is just three shots off the joint lead held by Justin Rose and Jamie Donaldson ahead of the start of today’s second round in the United Arab Emirates.
A birdie two at the par-three seventh set Howell on the right track, but he bogeyed the ninth to move back to level par at the halfway mark.
The former Ryder Cup man added birdie threes at 11 and 16 and a final gain at the par-five 18th put him right up amongst the leaders.
“I’m really pleased with the score and I did a lot of things really well,” said Howell.
“I putted beautifully and my course management and iron play was pretty good.
“The only downside was I drove the ball really poorly and I can’t explain why, but with that in mind three-under was a good score.
“I birdied two of the last three holes and that turned a steady day into a really good day. It’s certainly the best start I’ve ever made here.”
Thorbjorn Olesen and Pablo Larrazabal are a shot behind Rose and Donaldson on four-under, while former world number one Tiger Woods is at level par and USPGA reigning champion Rory McIlroy is struggling on three-over.
Howell is in the final group today and is due to tee off at 9.15am GMT (1.15pm local time).