DAVID Howell said his season starts now after he put in his best performance since his Dunhill Links Championships win at St Andrews last year, finishing tied ninth at the Nordea Masters in Malmö, Sweden.

The Broome Manor pro had storming weekend, carding 67 and 66 on Saturday and Sunday respectively to finish 12 under par for the tournament. Yesterday the 38-year-old looked for a short period as if he could challenge the leaders as he made a charge on the back nine.

Howell birdied four out of six holes from the 10th before a bogey at 16 ended his run though he did pick up a birdie at the last to finish on a high.

Howell’s previous best this season was a tied 15th place at the Tshwane Open in South Africa so Howell was in good spirits as he discussed his tournament with the Advertiser.

He said: “It’s been a bit of stop-start season so far, in terms of performance. After missing the two cuts in Asia and Wentworth as well, bit by bit it was very poor start to the season, as soon as I realised that I made some decisions and the season starts now.

“The weather turned out nice for the weekend and my golf turned out the same, to sneak inside top 10 with a 67, 66 the is the best I could have hoped for.

“I putted beautifully, much more like remember myself doing, it made me realise how badly I’ve been putting for a while. It was the certainly the best I’ve putted in a long, long time.”

Despite the result Howell knows that he still has things to work on as he prepares for his next tournament, most apparently his work off the tee which he was still not happy with at the PGA Sweden National.

“The long game is still challenge, trying to do things differently is never easy, but I was pleased with how I persevered.

“It wasn’t the purest of tee to green weeks but it was getting there. Luckily for me it was the kind of course where you could get away not being arrow straight,” Howell told the Advertiser.

“It was the best performance since I won (the Dunhill Links), so I can’t knock it whatsoever, and I got a nice birdie to finish with.

“I have two weeks off now to get myself and ready for the next round of tournaments and work on the technical things with my swing. I can take the confidence forward from this performance.

“Anyone needs confidence to produce results and if you don’t get results it will take a knock. It’s come at the right time, I’ve done a bit of thinking as to where my games is at.

“I made a couple of decisions and it’s put a swing in my step in if nothing else, and that gives me belief that I’m making the right choices.

“I’ve certainly got some positive things to work on, which I haven’t had this year, I was wandering along with my games and not doing a lot.”