Howell hopes his new putter will help regain his form
5:30am Thursday 17th April 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
DAVID Howell is hoping that a new putter will bring him better fortunes as he tackles the Maybank Malaysian Open today.
The Broome Manor pro arrived in Kuala Lumpur late on Monday night looking for a vast improvement on his short game.
And with a new putter in his bag, the 38-year-old is hoping that he can start climbing the leaderboard after being disappointed with his recent form.
“My putting hampered me this year,” Howell told the Adver. “I feel that I have been playing good enough before getting the to greens it is just that I haven’t been able to sink the ball.
“I have got a new putter for this tournament, it is very similar to my told one, but it is just something new to look at.
“It has been pretty decent on the practice rounds I’ve had this week, I’ve managed to hit a few birdies, so hopefully that will continue.”
“The old one I have had for quite a while and I’d changed the grip for my last tournament in Spain, it just didn’t work out.”
Howell will tee off at 1.20pm local time (6.20am BST) alongside Siddikur Rahman from Bangladesh and Masahiro Kawamura from Japan.
And having arrived in the South East Asia at the start of the week he says that tiredness shouldn’t be an issue.
“Jet lag hasn’t been too bad,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of a good nights sleep and I’m just about to get another so there will be no excuses on that front.
“I have been pretty disappointed with how I’ve played this year, there has been nothing to shout about.
“Hopefully I can get off to a good start, a score in the 60s would be nice, to set me up for the rest of the week.”
At the NH Collection Open in Cadiz, Spain a fortnight ago, rounds of 75 and 76 in the second and fourth saw Howell finished tied for 47th place with a four-over-par 292.
And his previous tournament in Morocco last month, saw Howell struggle with the final two rounds to close on three-over-par for tied 60th.
His best performance this season has been at the Tshwane Open in South Africa where he finished tied 15th with an eight-under-par 280.
The winner of the NH Collection Open, Italian Marco Crespi, will tee at 9.10am local time, while Lee Westwood comes into the tournament on the back of a seventh place finish at the Masters last week.
The Englishman said: “My game’s coming along nicely. I started working with my new coach, Mike Walker, about six weeks ago.
“I’m starting to hit the ball a lot better. I’ve got a lot more control, I’m driving it a lot straighter and distance control is coming back. I’m hitting my iron shots a lot closer, and my confidence is building all the time.”
Wrag Barn’s Ben Loughrey has missed the cut in his first EuroPro Tour tournament at The Belfry.
Loughrey had a mixed second round which saw him sink five birdies however eight bogeys and one double bogey ultimately sealed his fate as he finished 11 over par for the tournament.
He is scheduled to return to action at The Eagle Orchid Scottish Masters in Angus on April 29.
Bowood’s Sam Matton also missed the cut at The Belfry.