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OPEN D'ITALIA: Howell embraces frustration
MOST sportsmen look to avoid frustration but if David Howell is filled with that emotion when he walks off the course at the Open D’Italia today then he will be more than happy.
The 38-year-old Swindonian heads into the tournament at Golf Club Torino off the back of a tied-41st finish at the KLM Open last week, a result that would have been much-improved had Howell taken his form over the first two days into the weekend.
The Broome Manor pro admitted that even his earlier rounds in the Netherlands could have been lower than they turned out, but claimed that his frustration was positive and borne out of playing ‘good golf’.
“I need to up my scoring level and get a bit more out of the four days, because even last week my 65 (on day one) wasn’t the best score I could have had,” said Howell.
“Those are the rounds that can be promising but they can also be frustrating and that’s actually what good golf is - hitting a low score and knowing it could have been better, whereas dodgy golf is just stressful.
“There’s a lot of things that go into four rounds of golf, you have to think consistently well every minute and find the right shots at the right times. I definitely didn’t get the best out of how I was hitting the ball last week, so that’s a lesson to be learned.
“I was playing well enough to have done better, but I didn’t put four rounds together and that scuppered my chances of a higher finish.
“The game is still there but I’ve got to put together a better tournament in general and not have any sloppy patches, because four rounds of golf is an awful lot.”
Just five tournaments remain in the final stretch before the European Tour’s lucrative Final Series, which takes in two tournaments in China and one in Turkey before the top 60 in the Race to Dubai go forward to the World Tour Championship at Howell’s other home course, Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The two-time Ryder Cup winner currently sits 57th in the rankings and is keen to avoid the disappointment he experienced in finishing an agonising 62nd in 2012.
“I don’t want to focus on it too much, I just need to keep playing well and everything will take care of itself, but I’m pretty confident,” said Howell.
“I’d be sorely disappointed not to make it as it was one of my goals for the year and if I miss out I’ll be very frustrated.
“I’ve played so much better this year than last year, but I just haven’t had that big finish and that’s why I’m in roughly the same place.”
Howell tees off at 1.10pm GMT this afternoon (2.10pm local time) alongside Mathias Gronberg and fellow countryman Lee Slattery.
“It’s a lovely parkland course, a bit on the soft side but it’s a pleasant place to be,” continued Howell.
“It’s in good condition, there’s mature trees and plenty of rough around so I think it should be a good test.”
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