DAVID Howell admitted that he had to fight every step of the way to make sure he made the weekend at the BMW PGA Championship for the first time in six years.

Like in 2011, Howell heads into the third round at level par following a round of one over par in the blistering heat at Wentworth yesterday.

While the soaring temperatures in Surrey were energy sapping enough, a swirling wind and firming greens meant that it was also taxing mentally, with Howell looking to rest well before heading out again today.

“It was really tough,” he said.

“You had to hit just quality shots. If you were slightly off, you ended up out of position and from there, it was a real scramble.

“It was a really stern test and it was a day for chipping and putting and staying strong mentally and I did those things really well.

“I didn’t hit it quite as well as I needed to to have a great day out there but boy did I battle."

Having headed into the second round one under par, that was soon wiped out with a bogey on the first after he failed to complete an up and down when he hit through the green.

The Broome Manor pro was back to where he started the day when he secured a fine up and down on the par-five fourth.

Bogeys on the par-four seventh and ninth left the 41-year-old at one over par at the turn but birdies either side of a dropped shot on 11 saw him back on level terms for the week.

When Howell sunk a six-foot putt on 17 to move back to one under par, his place for the weekend looked secure, with the cut at +3 at that point.

However, Howell had a nervy finish as his third shot to the 18th green plugged horribly in the front right bunker and having found the sand again with his shot out, he was relieved to only pick up a bogey to finish level par.

“I hit a lovely drive from the first and made five and looking at being two over after three wasn’t good, so level par through four was nice,” he added.

“I missed a tiddler on 11 but then played 12 really nicely, so there was some good stuff out there.

“Once I got off the last tee - the run of form I am on, you try not to have bad thoughts – but once I got it in play there, I thought I might finish with a couple of birdies.

“With the wind howling and the big grandstand, that shot in, I didn’t commit very well and it was a rubbish end.

“We’re there for the weekend and not in bad position. If I can go out and shoot 68 tomorrow, you never know what might happen to the leaders and we might be in with a shout still.”