DAVID Howell admitted 2012 couldn’t have finished any better after a five-under-par final round at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Having made the cut on one-under, the Swindon pro picked up another two shots during Saturday’s third round and finished eight-under after a final 18 holes which only contained one bogey.

The performance was good enough to finish tied for 12th place during a final day disrupted by the weather, leaving the Broome Manor man happy with his effort.

“It is a nice way to end the year and I played really nicely and made some good movement up the board, and I couldn’t have asked for a lot more really, although if I was being greedy maybe one or two more would have been nice,” he said.

“I got what I deserved I think because I played really nicely, and bar Friday I think I played very well all week which was very pleasing.

“I dropped one shot which was a four foot putt which I misread a little, but I fought back pretty strong which was pleasing. I haven’t dropped a lot of shots, but I know in myself there were a few putts I had a good look at and I know I could have holed.”

The event along with last week’s Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban formed the first two events of the 2013 season, and Howell is pleased with the head start he has made on a number of his rivals who chose not to compete.

“I have a nice couple of weeks off golf now to enjoy Christmas, and then I will start building for the Middle East swing,” he said.

“It was a long way to come down to South Africa, and if I had finished badly it would have felt a bit like a wasted trip so it was nice to get another couple of cuts and get something out of the trip.

“I wanted to get a bit of a head start on the guys who didn’t bother to come down going into the Middle East next year, and while it wasn’t an amazing two weeks I think I got the bare minimum out of it.”

South African Charles Schwartzel won the tournament by a staggering 12 shots, finishing on 24-under-par.