A LAST-HOLE bogey cost David Howell dear as he missed the cut at the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily today.
The Swindon man slipped up on the 18th at Verdura Golf Club to agonisingly miss out on playing at the weekend for a seventh time this season.
Howell opened the event with an excellent four under par 68 on Thursday but with the field taking advantage of the opportune scoring conditions on the second day, needed another similar round to ensure his participation in the final two days.
His round started in unspectacular fashion as he bogeyed the third, but he had wiped out that dropped shot by the turn with birdies at the short seventh and long ninth.
Howell continued his steady pace on the back nine, reeling off five successive pars before adding a birdie at the 15th to sneak inside the cut line at five under par.
However, he promptly gave that shot back at the last to slip below the required mark Fellow Wiltshire player Jordan Smith carded a second round of 68, despite also bogeying the final hole, the Derry Hill player lying six under par after two rounds.
Cumberwell Park's Laurie Canter shot a two over par 73 as he failed to build on a promising opening-day 65 to miss out alongside Howell on four under.
The halfway was lead held by Spain's Alvaro Quiros, who birdied his final four holes to add a 64 to his opening 63 and reach 15 under par, two shots ahead of overnight joint leaders Michael Hoey and Sebastian Soderberg, who both shot 61 on Thursday and 68 on Friday.
England's David Horsey and South African Zander Lombard lie three shots off the pace after rounds of 66 and 68 respectively, with 2011 Sicilian Open winner Raphael Jacquelin another stroke back alongside Mark Foster and Jose-Filipe Lima.
Jacquelin's 62 was the joint-lowest round of the day and the same score from American Julian Suri remarkably saw him make the cut on five under after a 13-shot improvement on his opening 75.