Howell shares the lead in France
SWINDON'S David Howell is tied for the lead at the end of day three of the French Open following a four under par round.
The Broome Manor pro was two under after his opening two rounds, but stepped it up a gear at Le Golf National today.
Howell started with a birdie on the first before dropping a shot back on the fourth, but never looked back as birdies on five and nine saw him turn two under.
The 36-year-old holed birdies on 14 and 16 as he finished well, earning himself a share of the lead with Dane Anders Hansen.
Hansen and George Coetzee led for much of the afternoon and made it to eight under either side of a 35-minute interruption caused by a brief thunderstorm.
But both men faltered, giving Howell the chance to play himself into a share of the lead.
“I played beautifully. It’s been three good rounds so far,” said Howell.
"Today was probably the way you want to play the golf course. The way I played, I kept the ball on the whole in the fairway and took my chances when they came along.
“You’ve got to play steady golf around here. You can’t smash it all over the place and expect to score.
“You've got to be patient and play strategically, not make too many stupid errors and when the birdie chances come, the greens are perfect, so you can hope to hole some putts from 20 or 30 feet as well.
“The confidence is building by the day and today's round was important for me, and tomorrow's will be of course. In decent position after 36, you never want to go backwards, and to play such a nice round, I was very pleased for my confidence. I’m enjoying it.”