Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: David's out to Write off His 'Howler' Howell Wants Confidence Boost

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: David's out to Write off His 'Howler' Howell Wants Confidence Boost

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andrew Mullen

DAVID Howell is ready to put an end to his disappointing year at the Hong Kong Open as the Ryder Cup winner looks to make his first cut in four European Tour outings.

The pounds 1m event is actually the second tournament on the 2008 European Tour schedule but the 32-year-old has endured such a disappointing 12 months he will be happy to see the back of 2007 as soon as possible.

Howell, nicknamed "Howler" by his Tour colleagues, has been plagued by injuries and last reached the weekend of a tour event at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Germany in September on his way to joint 72nd.

He has since crashed out at the midway point at the British Masters, Dunhill Links Championship and October's Portugal Masters. "I've missed a lot of cuts, the worst I have ever done, it's been a disappointing year," Howell said.

"I stopped looking at the Order of Merit along time ago, my previous worst was around 70 and that was in the year I broke my arm.

"I've now just got to put it behind me and keep enjoying the game and keep working hard. This now feels like the end of a long year than the start of a new one for me.

"I've got seven weeks off after this and Abu Dhabi will be my first outing in 2008, but there will be no better way to go into 2008 than with a good performance this week."

The Swindon-born professional finished a career-low 142 on the Order of Merit and is currently well off the pace in the current Ryder Cup standings.

But a fourth-place finish at the King Hassan Trophy in Morocco at the end of October behind Open champion Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Simon Dyson have given Howell a boost of confide nce.

"I've had a few weeks off so I have a little bit to work on out on the range," he added. "I did a bit better in Morocco, it wasn't the strongest or biggest of fields but fourth place with the Open champion winning and other top players at two and three is a lot better than I have been doing. …

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