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No final round fireworks for Swindon pro Howell
6:00am Monday 10th December 2012 in Sport
DAVID Howell finished in the middle of the pack as the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship squeezed to a finish inside a weekend.
The event in Durban, South Africa had seen its first round delayed twice due to heavy rain and the tournament was cut to 54 holes with par set at 65.
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson eventually triumphed after a three-way play-off but Howell’s card was mainly a hotch-potch of birdies and bogeys.
The Broome Manor pro never seemed to get any kind of consistency over the two days and even an eagle at the first on the second day could not inspire a sustained challenge.
Nevertheless, rounds of one-over and on-over put the ex-Ryder Cup man on par overall and secured him a tie for 54th place.
Scotland’s Jamieson shot a second-round 57 and then beat England’s Steve Webster and Spaniard Edoardo de la Riva in a play-off.
De la Riva bogeyed the first extra hole and then Webster did the same when they returned to the 18th tee.
Jamieson, 29, was not even in the top 60 after his opening round of 66 and admitted afterwards: “Starting the day I probably didn’t think I would be standing here holding the trophy.”
All three players involved in the play-off finished their rounds by lunchtime and had to wait all afternoon to see if anybody could beat their seven-under totals of 123.
South Africa’s Tim Clark had the best chance, but double-bogeyed the 17th when joint leader.
De la Riva was left to rue not only failing to get up and down from a bunker in the play-off, but also a closing bogey in his second-round 61.
Webster produced a 60 and almost clinched victory on the first extra hole when his 30-foot birdie putt came up just short.
Next time round, though, he could not recover from pulling his drive into thick rough.
Earlier, Jamieson could have won it outright on the 305-yard ninth - his last - when he drove the green but just missed a 12-foot eagle attempt.
He had earlier gone to the turn in a five-under 26 that included four birdie twos.
“I knew I needed a fast start and was lucky enough to get that,” Jamieson added after also being presented with a framed drawing of Mandela.
“It’s an honour to win a tournament like this. Getting your name on any European trophy is a fantastic achievement, but it’s a bit more special with someone like Nelson.”
Joint fourth a stroke behind were Clark, German Max Kieffer, Dane Morten Orum Madsen and England’s Matthew Nixon.