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PORTUGAL MASTERS: Howell ready to recharge ahead of season finale
SWINDON’S David Howell will take a week out to allow his latest ailments time to heal ahead of the most lucrative section of the European Tour season - The Final Series.
The Swindonian, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, recorded a middle-of-the-pack finish at the Portugal Masters yesterday despite contending with chest and shoulder problems throughout the tournament.
And now the two-time Ryder Cup winner will give the Perth International in Australia a miss ahead of the BMW Masters in Shanghai next week, the start of four lucrative events that culminate in the World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Reflecting on matters in the Algarve over the last few days, Howell said: “The most frustrating thing about this week is how my chest and shoulder didn’t get better. They were probably at their best on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was impeding my golf but it stopped me practising as much. If I could have had a crystal ball a week ago and could have seen what was to come, I wouldn’t have played.
“There’s lots of big tournaments coming up and my aim is to be fit for China.”
The 38-year-old carded level-par in Saturday’s third round at Oceanico Victoria and had every reason to believe he could achieve a top-25 finish.
However, yesterday’s effort of one-under – which included a triple bogey seven at the last - saw the Broome Manor pro slide down the leaderboard as he finished on six-under overall.
“I was seven-over on the 18th for the tournament which is amazing really,” said Howell.
“It’s a tough hole with the rough down the right-hand side but it’s just one of those things.
“It was frustrating to make a seven on the last but financially and in terms of points there will be heavier blows than dropping from 30th to 50th.
“It’s just the way it is, I’m not going to stress too much about it after the high of a week ago (winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship),especially since my shoulder isn’t quite right and it’s questionable whether I should have played.
“Ultimately I’m in a position now where I need to think about big finishes rather than worry about the difference between 30th and 50th.”
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