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Howell returns to revival spot
THE Malaysian Open holds a special place in David Howell’s heart as he believes his career began to turn around at the Far East event last year.
Swindon’s former world number nine had been on a dismal run of form prior to the early stages of last year, but managed a tie for 33rd at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and in the following months his results began to improve significantly.
Previously struggling to take his tournament campaigns into the weekend, the 37-year-old has only missed one cut since May and also has several top-10 finishes to his name in that period.
And Howell explained that he will play the Malaysia course with confidence this year having previously not been at his best there.
He said: “I played well in Malaysia last year apart from a couple of individual bad holes, but it was almost the catalyst for my return to consistent form.
“I feel like I struggled there before the breakthrough on that golf course and I can see my way round it now.
“When I’ve played there before I’ve struggled because that was when I was playing terribly and could hardly keep it on the fairway.
“It’s a good solid golf course and you have to do most things well. If you can drive it well there’s plenty of birdie opportunities and I became aware of that last year.
“There’s a bit of water around and a few shots you have to hit straight, but it’s not the most demanding of courses.
“It’s the biggest event on the tour so far so it’s definitely one to play well in. I’ll just try and keep doing what I’m doing, but one or two per cent better.”
The Broome Manor pro said that high temperatures in Malaysia were one of his main concerns but admitted that was a difficulty that affected everyone.
“The heat and humidity is always a challenge and you have got to cope with that,” he said.
“Everyone goes about it in their own way. It’s just about keeping hydrated as much as possible and keeping out of the sun.
“Some people use umbrellas for shade and I actually wear Skins on my arms to keep the sun off.
“It’s the same for everyone and it’s not pleasant for anyone.”
Howell is due to tee off at 12.30am tomorrow morning (8.30am local time) alongside In-Woo Lee and Yih-shin Chan.