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Putting lets Howell down at Qatar Masters
DAVID Howell might have lacked his usual touch around the greens on the second day of the Qatar Masters, but the Swindon star was still left purring at the pleasure of another cut made.
On a course that was unseasonably calm for the second day in a row, Howell carded a one-over-par round of 73 to prolong his stay in Doha.
Teeing off at the 10th, the Broome Manor star dropped shots at the 13th, 15th and 18th but then made gains at one and four.
He bogeyed the sixth before pulling himself back to one-over for the day at the par-three eighth.
The Wiltshireman qualified for the weekend by two clear shots on two-under and is seven off the lead held by Australia’s Marcus Fraser.
Despite making the grade for two extra days in Qatar, Howell admitted there was plenty of room for improvement with the putter.
Asked for his assessment of yesterday’s round, he said: “Frustrating, I tell you. But you get those days.
“I chipped to within three foot on the par-five 10th and missed it, the wrong club at the 13th probably cost me a shot and I three-putted on the 18th, so that was a bit of a nightmare.
“I played nicely on the front nine but even then I missed another four-footer. All in all it was another frustrating day on the greens.
“The greens aren’t great here, they are very grainy and you have to be a lot more accurate than usual. It’s a lot harder to hole putts.
“That’s the ebb and flow of golf, sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. This time they were running by.”
A resurgence on the final nine holes left Howell satisfied, with the bottom line of a cut made the most pleasing aspect.
“The important thing was I dug in with nine holes to go,” he said.
“I played quite nicely and made a few opportunities, and the main thing is we’re through again.
“It would have been a travesty if I’d missed the cut after the way I’ve played for the last two days.
“Who knows what the weekend will bring? We might have another decent finish.”
Howell tees off at 5.39am GMT tomorrow morning alongside Australia’s Richard Green (8.39am local time).
Unusually for the European Tour, the final round takes place on a Saturday.