DAVID Howell was pleased with his opening round at the Bridgestone Invitational despite a disappointing display on the greens.
The Swindon star finished his opening round at the Firestone Country Club in Ohio one-under-par, knows that it could have been so much better.
The Broome Manor pro hit more than 92 per cent of his fairways from the tee and made greens in regulation for nearly three-quarters of the holes.
However, on several occasions the 39-year-old required more than two putts to find the cup.
“I played really nicely,” Howell told the Advertiser. “It could have quite easily been three or four under par.
“I was looking to go four under with a nice putt but the ball just bounced back out.
“I was hitting the ball really well and if I can keep setting up birdie chances like I did today then there is no reason why I can’t do well this week.
Needing to finish in the top eight this week to qualify for the USPGA, the final major of the year, Howell birdied holes 17, 18, two and three, after starting from the 10th.
But a three putt on the 13th saw him bogey that hole, while a rare poor tee shot on the sixth left Howell in trouble.
His recovery shot landed in the rough and the former Ryder Cup winner did well to walk away with a bogey five.
“It was such a random tee shot,” Howell said.
“It was just one of those shots which goes 50 yards to the left.
“To be honest after that shot it I did well to get a good bogey five.
“And it was a pretty weak bogey on the eigth too, but it was a pretty solid round.”
Howell will look to improve on yesterday’s round today when he tees off at 1.30pm (local time/6.30pm BST).