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EUROPEAN MASTERS: Howell opens well despite wrist concern
DAVID Howell admits his troublesome wrist was more of a ‘mental issue’ than a physical one after completing his opening round at the European Masters yesterday.
The former world number nine carded a useful one-under-par 70 at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland, six days after pulling out of the Wales Open through injury.
The niggle has refused to completely go away and atlhough it did not affect Howell’s swing for the most part yesterday, he admitted it caused his focus to be slightly swayed.
“My wrist wasn’t perfect at the end of Wednesday and it wasn’t perfect on the range this morning, which was frustrating because it had been so good on Tuesday,” said Howell.
“It wasn’t hurting this morning but it still wasn’t quite there, so it was a bit of a worry when I set off, but by the time I got to the first tee it wasn’t affecting me too much physically, more mentally.
“But it warmed up eventually and in the end it wasn’t an issue.”
Howell stands a good chance of making the cut in Switzerland after his solid opening 70, although he knows his par-five play must improve if he is to make an impression later in the tournament.
“I didn’t hit it quite as well today as I have done in practice for the last few days, but it was a good professional round and one-under is never bad,” said Howell.
“The only thing was that the conditions were perfect, so maybe I let an opportunity slip there.
“The story of the day was that I played the par-fives really poorly and they are really quite easy here, but I only played them in one-over.
“Having said that, one-under is a good platform to build from for the rest of the tournament.”
Howell will continue his bid to make the cut this afternoon when he tees off at 1pm local time (12noon GMT) alongside Joel Sjoholm and Oliver Fisher.
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