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WALES OPEN: Injury hampers Swindon's Howell
DAVID Howell’s injury jinx reared its ugly head once again as a troublesome left wrist sent his Wales Open campaign veering off-course yesterday.
The Swindon golfer was left frustrated following a five-over-par 76 at Celtic Manor which means only a significant improvement will see him make the cut today.
That round included visits into the water on the fifth, sixth and 12th and two double bogeys on the latter two holes did not help his cause.
Tightened muscles and a lack of movement meant Howell was swinging clubs in a way he was not entirely comfortable with.
“I was aware of it last week and for whatever reason when I got to Wales on Tuesday it seemed a bit worse,” said Howell.
“I did hardly anything on Tuesday.and didn’t pick up a club at all on Wednesday.
“I couldn’t play in the pro-am and spent all of Wednesday night having ice and physio on it, but it wasn’t quite right.
“It was better today, not as bad as it might have been, but it did affect me on the first nine holes and I couldn’t commit to anything at all. It was all a bit weak.
“If anything it got better and I managed to commit to shots on the back nine, but it’s not an easy course to get round when you’re feeling 100 per cent fit.
“I’m not one for making excuses but midway through the front nine I was thinking, should I even be out here?
“It’s very frustrating because I feel in good form and I suppose the only positive you can take is that it’s getting better.”
Howell admits he will need something special to make the cut in Newport today and says that is only possible if he is in reasonable physical shape.
“I don’t know what the cut is going to be, but I’m well-capable of shooting 67 if the wrist is OK,” said Howell.
“I’ve got to hope for a miraculous second round on Friday.”
Meanwhile, at the Northern Ireland Open Challenge yesterday, Wrag Barn’s Martin Sell finished three shots away from the projected cut.
Sell’s round - a three-over par 74 - began well with a birdie on the second hole.
After immediately dropping that shot at the next hole, Sell birdied the par four fourth to go back to one-under for the day.
But two consecutive bogeys at five and six saw his opening nine stutter.
Sell’s back nine began with a birdie at 10 but bogeys at 11 and 14 cost him dear.
A double bogey at 17 inflicted more damage to his round before he finished on a high with a birdie at the par five 18th.
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