Howell fit for PGA Championships at Wentworth
5:30am Wednesday 21st May 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
DAVID Howell insists that he is fully fit ahead of tomorrow’s PGA Championships at Wentworth.
The Broome Manor pro was forced to withdraw from last week’s Spanish Open with a wrist problem.
However, with his home tournament set to get underway in Surrey, the 38-year-old says that he has fully recovered.
“The wrist is fine,” Howell told the Advertiser. “I withdrew from the Spanish Open as precaution as I wanted to be fit for this one.
“I’ve been having a bit of physio this week and I can say that there can be no excuses from me on the injury side of things.”
Howell will be hoping that his return to fitness will also see a return to form after missing the cut in his last two tournaments - the China Open and Malaysian Open.
But the Swindon star will also be keen to rediscover his touch at Wentworth after having a torrid time on his home course since winning the PGA in 2006.
Injury denied Howell the chance to defend his title in 2007 and on his return the following year he could only manage a nine-over-par to finish tied 63rd.
In 2009, the Ryder Cup hopeful bettered his score by one shot, while at the turn of the decade Howell finished tied 61st after shooting seven-over.
Then 12 months later a five-over 289 was only good enough to secure a tied 39th place finish.
However, that was the last time that Howell made the cut at Wentworth after missing out in the last two tournaments.
“I had a practice round yesterday and things went pretty well on the back nine,” he said.
“I’ve worked on a couple of minor things and I could see the improvements.
“I won’t really know how much has worked until I’m on that first tee with a card in my hand.
“But as far as my fitness is concerned I’m feeling fine after that round.”
Last year, Matteo Manassero became the youngest ever winner of the PGA Championship at 20 years and 37 days.
The Italian ended the four days tied on 10-under-par with Essex’s Simon Khan and Scotland’s Marc Warren.
Manassero secured the title on the final hole of the play-off as he shot a birdie four, while Khan found the water at 18 and Warren dropped out at the first hole as he drove into the trees.