DAVID Howell was delighted with his performance as he matched his best ever round to finish second at the Italian Open yesterday.

After opening with a 73 on day one the Broome Manor pro looked to beheading for another disappointing week, sitting one over the for the tournament. However Howell came roaring back over the next two days, carding consecutive scores of 67 to start his final round nine under for the tournament and within striking distance of the leaders.

Opening up with a fabulous eagle Howell proceeded around the Circolo Golf Torino in fine form, not dropping a stroke and finding himself just one shot behind Hennie Otto at the top of the board, with just three holes to play.

Ultimately the 39-year-old could not find another birdie and Otto picked up another stroke as the tournament ended with Howell two shots behind the South African on 18 under par for the week.

As a result of his starting position on the final day Howell was not disheartened by finishing just off of first place.

“It’s my joint best ever round on the tour so you can’t ask for much more than that really,” he told the Advertiser.

“I hit 67-67-63 this week, it’s the best golf I’ve played since the Dunhill (Links) definitely. It would have been nice to get the win but Hennie (Otto) was just too far ahead and second really was the best I could of wished for. All in all I’m very, very pleased, it’s been a wholly good week.

“I was having a good go at the win. I was hitting good shots, I didn’t make any mistakes on the way in and put pressure on the leaders.

“I was way behind after day one and teeing off on my second round Hennie was already 15 under, so to finish two shots behind him shows how well I played.”

Howell’s best finish since his win at the Dunhill Links last year puts him in an excellent position to qualify for the season-ending Race To Dubai tournament and also a step closer to fulfilling one of the Swindon golfer’s life-long dreams.

“It bumps me up the rankings to 47 now. I wouldn’t say it’s guaranteed, but it puts me up there for Dubai World Championships, which is a barometer that you’ve had a reasonable year.

“One of my goals was to get myself up under 30 in the order of merit, a couple more weeks like this one and I might do it. That would get me in The Open at St Andrews, which is something I’ve never had pleasure of playing.

“I’m not getting carried away, it’s just one week. It gives me more confidence going into my next event having had a good week. I proved that I can play under pressure again, now the job is to stay consistent, and keep putting myself in those situations.”