6:30pm Thursday 31st May 2012
DAVID Howell saw a promising start come to a disappointing end at the ISPS Handa Wales Open today.
The Broome Manor pro was tied fifth after his opening four holes at a windy Celtic Manor Resort, but fell off the pace after that early promise.
Teeing off at the 11th, Howell parred the opener and then picked up at the par-four 12th hole.
Following a par at the 13th, it was a positive start, but three bogeys in the next four holes meant the Swindon star moved to two-over for the day.
However, he made a gain at the 18th to pull himself back to within a shot of level par.
Holes one to 10 were an equally cheqered affair, with the former Ryder Cup man bogeying the second before hitting back with a birdie two at the third and another gain at the par-four fifth.
A spanner in the works arrived at the sixth, when an expensive double bogey six dragged Howell back to two-over for the day.
Four pars followed to ensure that figure stayed the same as he completed at the 10th.
At the time of writing, England’s Lee Slattery held the club house lead opn four-under-par with Germany’s Marcel Siem and Ireland’s Robert Thornton in close attendance.
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Joel Sjoholm and Pablo Larrazabal were also up near the top of the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, defending champion Alexander Noren went from winning a US Open qualifier to failing to break 80.
The Swede began his defence of the ISPS Handa Wales Open with a 10 over par 81 to trail England's Lee Slattery by 14 strokes.
It was not a good day either for Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie or Jose Maria Olazabal.
Montgomerie, back on the course where he led Europe to Ryder Cup victory two years ago, needed three birdies in his last six holes for a 74 and Lawrie could only match that.
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