SWINDON’S David Howell once admitted he stopped looking at his ranking when he dropped out of the world’s top 200.

But now the Broome Manor pro has propelled himself back inside that mark following an impressive run of form, his eyes are firmly trained on the global standings.

Formerly number nine in the world, Howell plummeted to 569th in 2010 but has improved of late, culminating in his jump from 203rd to 196th when the new rankings were published yesterday, courtesy of a tied-22nd finish at the Qatar Masters on Saturday.

Ten cuts in a row on the European Tour have done the 37-year-old’s cause no harm and top-25 finishes at his last three tournaments have left him in a particularly favourable position.

“It's a whole lot better than where I was a couple of years ago,” said Howell.

“I actually know the guy who does the world rankings very well and he mentioned I was close to the top 200 last week.

“I'm aware of it again now and interested in looking at them. I'm playing well enough to keep going in the right direction.

“The way I'm playing hopefully I can just keep progressing. With one really big week you're jumping up near the top 100.”

That is a mark that is particularly important for the Wiltshireman, who is hoping a sustained charge will result in him qualifying for a tournament he has not played in since 2007.

“If you do well you start to get into events on the back of it and the top 100 go to the USPGA, so that's the next milestone,” added Howell.

“I've got the best part of six months to put some form together for that, so that will become a nice goal come July or August.”

In the short-term, Howell’s is focused on the Dubai Desert Classic tomorrow. He tees off at 4.35am GMT (8.35am local time) alongside England’s Robert Rock and South Africa’s Richard Sterne.