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BMW MASTERS: Howell happy to emerge unscathed following opening round
DAVID Howell might not have been challenging at the top of the BMW Masters leaderboard following today’s opening 18, but the Broome Manor pro was just relieved to escape further injury.
The 38-year-old is contending with chest and shoulder problems that have troubled him for more than a fortnight but made it round in four-over-par at Lake Malaren.
That left the Swindonian tied-50th following day one and although there was a significant gap between himself and early pace-setters, Howell was moderately content with that effort.
“It was positive in some ways that it didn’t get any worse so that was all I was hoping for really,” said the two-time Ryder Cup winner.
“I’m still very much in the wars and I was a bit ginger out there. I had to be careful in the way I did a lot of things on the body front but I was swinging OK and it wasn’t costing me any power.
“I was very nervous about it before going out there because if it had got worse then it would be a horrible time of year to be out of action.
“I can be a bit of a practice swinger but I only took one for each shot this time.
“It was tough out there. I’d say I probably didn’t quite get the best out of my round and maybe two-over would have been about as good as I could have hoped for with the way I hit the ball.
“All in all it wasn’t disastrous and although I would have looked to be a couple better, I made a couple of good saves on the last two holes.
“It was a positive day and if we can just improve day by day then that’s what I’m after.”
Howell admits that his ambitions for this week have been tempered by his injury problems but is positive that he can pick up some useful prizemoney.
“If I was to finish top-half then that would be a good result.
“Hopefully I can make some progress but I’m not taking anything for granted,” he said.
“We really have to try and keep things in context and that’s hard to do when I’m out there.
“It’s a big tournament and I want to do well, but it’s important to set my targets sensibly.
“What would be a great week is if my body feels a whole lot better at the end of it.”
Howell is due to begin his second round at 1.10am GMT tomorrow morning.
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