SWINDON’S David Howell is well-placed after the first 18 holes of the Scottish Open after carding two eagles during his opening round yesterday.

The Broome Manor man sits three-under in Aberdeen, tied for eighth, three shots behind leader Rory McIlroy who is on seven-under.

After a double bogey on his fourth hole got him off to perhaps the worst possible start, Howell recovered with a birdie at the very next hole before his first eagle at the sixth got him back under par.

A flurry of pars was followed by eagle number two at the 12th, leaving the Swindon player in a good position.

“I’m sure I have done it before, although I’m not sure where, when and at what course, so it was probably quite a long time ago to be honest,” he said.

“I had the double bogey early on but tried to fight back and played it wonderfully really so I have to be pleased with that.

“Three-under is a decent score and I was a bit surprised about how low the scoring was, with a new course it can be a bit funny and hard to tell but I expected it to be a bit tougher than it proved to be.

“I have to look forward to the second round but I need to take those high numbers off my card, but if I can stay away from those I feel I am swinging well enough to keep on going.

“I had a period last year where I was playing pretty well but kept having those high numbers on my card, but if I can cut that out I will be fine.”

Howell starts his second round at 6.50am alongside Marcel Siem and Marco Crespi.