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Putting collapse costs Howell
DAVID Howell was left to rue an extraordinary collapse at the 13th today as a putting nightmare cost him the chance of a first European Tour victory in seven years.
On four-under for the day at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Howell's excellent recovery out of the bunker to within five feet appeared to have saved the situation, only for the Broome Manor pro to inexplicably four-putt.
It was a demoralising slump after a superb few days in the United Arab Emirates, and of all the clubs to let down the Swindon man, the putter seemed the least likely.
However, coupled with a bogey at the previous hole, Howell's challenge was effectively over and despite having held the tournament lead after 10 holes, he eventually finished on one-under-par for the day and nine-under overall.
That was five shots behind eventual victor Jamie Donaldson, who held his nerve to see off the challenge of Thorbjorn Olesen and Justin Rose, who were both a shot back on 13-under.
For a full report and reaction to Howell's tournament in Abu Dhabi, see tomorrow's Swindon Advertiser.