Howell impressed by Golf Premier League format

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon's David Howell Swindon's David Howell

DAVID Howell feels the inaugural Golf Premier League was a success and believes the format could ‘have legs’ in golf as a whole.

The Broome Manor pro was a member of the Punjab Lancers team that finished a shot behind winners Uttarakhand Lions at Aamby Valley In India on Saturday.

The event was heavily influenced by cricket’s IPL and saw teams play a 42-hole tournament over three days.

“It’s a very good concept,” said Howell, who lined up alongside Thaworn Wiratchant, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Rashid Khan.

“We were pretty much guaranteed a close finish and that proved the case as we only lost by one in the end.

“I think it’s got some legs over the coming years and you might see it grow in India and numerous spots around the world.

“Teams are sponsored by corporations and regions and that lends itself to a few different options.

“The difficulty with it is it’s just a special event and there’s only so many weekends it can be played.”

The Swindonian was disappointed not to win the GPL in its first staging, which he and his teammates lost out on in dramatic fashion.

“We were probably the best team on paper and we were right in there with one hole to go, but to be honest we didn’t seal the deal,” he said.

“I had a 30-footer to tie the match on the last and managed to hit the hole, but I don’t know what they would have done if it had gone in.

“They were running out of time at that point and I’m not sure they had thought about what they would do in the event of a tie.”

Howell is taking a short break from European Tour action before returning at the Tshwane Open in South Africa on February 28.

That was his plan from the outset and it has worked out well as the two-time Ryder Cup winner requires time to recover from a minor injury.

“I had a stiff neck come on last week that started at the end of the (Dubai Desert) Classic, so I wasn’t feeling my best in India,” he said.

“It’s actually quite nice timing as I have a couple of weeks to get better now.”

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