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WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS: Howell slips in Shanghai
DAVID Howell felt as if he was sitting pretty after the first-half of his second round at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, but what followed was nine frustrating holes of golf.
After a level-par first round, the Broome Manor player bounced back from an early bogey to sit one-under through his first nine but a double bogey and two more dropped shots after the turn saw him end three-over at Sheshan International.
Howell now sits tied for 60th going into round three of the lucrative event but admitted things have not turned out the way he had hoped following a positive start.
“I played pretty well on my first nine holes and they didn’t cause me too much trouble as I went to one-under at the turn,” he said.
“I was sitting pretty at that point and was looking forward to picking up a couple more shots on the front nine which would put me in touch with the leading pack, but it didn’t pan out that way at all.
“I finally hit a great drive down the first hole, my 10th, which was my best drive of the day, but I then duffed a seven iron short of the green and that cost me a bogey.
“The rest of the holes were reasonable I suppose but I found the water at six and then a bogey at a tough ninth.
“There were four good birdie chances which just didn’t go for me and it was just a really frustrating nine holes.
“I didn’t play great but it was another day where I feel I got the worst out of my score rather than the best which is why I’m languishing at the end of the field.”
With no cut in the China event, Howell is hoping for a slice of luck this weekend as he bids to climb the leaderboard.
“I feel like I need to swing the club a little better than I have done if I’m going to get anything out but I genuinely feel things haven’t gone my way,” he said.
“Time and again I’ve hit good putts which have just missed so if things had gone differently I could have knocked five off my score.
“Hopefully things can go my way over the weekend and I can pull out a reasonable finish because being down in 60th isn’t fun, and a top 30 would be good from here.”
Howell begins his third round at 10am local time (2am UK time) tomorrow morning alongside Thai player Kiradech Aphibarnrat and South African Richard Sterne.
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