GOLF: David partners you-know-Hugh again
DAVID Howell will be aiming to produce a Hollywood performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships in Scotland, and the Swindon golfer will attempt to take inspiration from silver screen star Hugh Grant.
As has been the case for the past few years, Howell has been handed Grant as his pro-am partner for the event, and he’s hoping that their pairing will be more productive than they have been in the recent past.
Nevertheless, the Broome Manor pro is looking forward to a weekend on the fairways and greens of St Andrew’s, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns with the Four Weddings and a Funeral leading man, even if Grant has used up all his showbiz charm on the former Ryder Cup team member.
When asked by the Advertiser if Grant had plenty of stories to tell, Howell said: “Yes, but I’ve heard them all now.
“We’ve got used to each other over the last few years and we’ve got a bit of a regular pairing now. We’re quite like minded in terms of our sense of humour and we get on well, so it will be good to team up with him again.
“Hopefully we can do a bit better together this time, we’ve done pretty poorly in the past.”
On a more serious level, Howell is still chasing points to secure his place in the top 60 on the Race to Dubai qualification list.
The 38-year-old is currently ranked 59th and requires a good weekend around the tricky links courses to solidify his spot.
The Alfred Dunhill Championship has been kind to Howell in the past, with three top-10 finishes in the space of four years between 2001 and 2004 netting him in excess of €600,000.
Since then, however, his form at the tournament has been indifferent. Not for much longer, though, he hopes.
“It’s been the story of my career really over the last 10 years or so,” he said. “I’m aware that I have played really well on these courses and hopefully I can find that form again this weekend. It’s a big event for us, there are a lot of points on offer and it’s always very disappointing when you don’t do well at this tournament because of how much is there.
“I’ve taken an extra day off in the week because I felt being ready and not being tired was the right thing to do, rather than pulling myself round a windy course. Hopefully that’s the right decision.”
Howell could not pick out a favourite course of the three hosting competitive action over the course of the next four days, but he’s evidently raring to get his teeth into the tournament.
He said: “The Old Course is always a difficult one to play, Carnoustie is a classic links test and Kingsbarns is young but fun to play and can give you plenty of birdies. It’s a real mix and it’s good fun to play.”
Howell is due to tee off for his first round at Carnoustie at 11.12am this morning, alongside Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. and his celebrity partner, actor Kyle MacLachlan.
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