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Howell curses double bogey as Open D'Italia hopes fade
SWINDON’S David Howell was left fuming after a final-hole slump nearly cost him a long weekend at the Open D’Italia yesterday.
The Broome Manor pro was cruising along nicely at Golf Club Torino at two-under-par through 17 holes and three-under for the tournament.
But the four-time European Tour winner then dropped in a double bogey six at the last which made his afternoon a much more uncomfortable experience than it might have been.
And the 38-year-old admitted he was far from impressed with his closing effort, which left him at one-under overall and a single shot above the cut line.
“It certainly does rankle a bit,” he said.
“It was very frustrating to go from where I was with three holes to go, to floating around the cut mark.
“Two of the last three I took care of quite nicely - not that I was under any pressure - and got to three-under and had a bit of breathing space cut-wise.
“But I made a complete hash of the 18th, I hit a poor first shot, a poor second shot, a poor third shot, a poor fourth shot and a poor fifth shot. The only decent one was the tap-in from 12 inches.
“It was a poor three-wood into the fairway bunker and although it was a fairly easy escape, I pulled into the greenside trap, lipped it and then duffed the chip onto the green.
“It was very frustrating and I was certainly spitting blood when I came off.”
While Howell was disappointed by yesterday’s 72, he believes that in general his game was on the up and is positive about his prospects this weekend.
“I played poorly on Thursday and managed to go round in one-under, but I played a whole lot better today and went round in level,” he said.
“I’ve got to take it on the chin. We’re now in the middle of the pack but looking forward to the rest of the week and top-20 would be a good result from here.”
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and the Republic of Ireland’s Simon Thornton held the overnight lead on nine-under-par.
One shot behind were David Higgins, Nicolas Colsaerts and Steve Webster.
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