Howell still in the hunt despite putting woes
DAVID Howell remains in the hunt for a first European Tour title in seven years but the Broome Manor pro admitted to a ‘frustrating’ second day at the KLM Open.
The 38-year-old Swindonian carded a level-par 70 at Kennemer Golf & Country Club in the Netherlands, leaving him on five-under for the tournament and four shots off the lead held jointly by Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal.
Teeing off at the 10th, Howell was one-under through the first nine holes but after picking up a shot at the second, he bogeyed six and eight to slide back.
The former world number nine was left with mixed emotions after completing business but admitted that tied-11th was a healthy place to be.
“It was darn frustrating. I played beautifully and only missed two greens,” he said.
“I made one bad choice of chip when I was in a bit of trouble on the sixth (Howell’s 15th) which is a driveable par-four.
“I was behind a bush and tried to go over when I should have gone under and it cost me a bogey on a very birdieable hole.
“The other bogeys were a couple of three-putts from off the fringes of the green which is very unlike me. It could have easily been a 65.
“I had so many chances in the first two days and it’s as well as I’ve played tee to green, possibly even ever. I’ve been straight down the middle and hitting lots of good shots.
“I played beautifully so I can’t be too down about it and four off the lead is a great position to be in.”
While Howell is optimistic of a positive weekend, he admits that his short game needs to sharpen up if he is threaten for top spot.
“If I continue to hit the ball as well as I have done then I might well have a good chance, but golf is a fickle game and I might not play as well on Saturday,” said Howell.
“I’m in there. Four shots is nothing over two rounds and I’m playing well enough to have a chance. I’m just hoping the putts start to drop.”
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