DAVID Howell is a happy man right now, both on the course and off it.

Fresh off the back his best performance of the year at the Malaysian Open - in his own words - the Broome Manor pro has also been enjoying the pleasures of fatherhood following the birth of Freddie George Howell last month.

And he will be targeting another good display at the China Open, where he was due to tee off his first round at 12.55am this morning.

“I did show some very encouraging signs in Malaysia,” said the former Ryder Cup man.

“Finishing in 32nd place was not great but a triple bogey and a double bogey on the weekend was the only thing stopping me from challenging the top 10.

“It was far and away the best I have played this year.

“In my non-golfing world, Freddie is not saying much for himself yet but I assume he will be speaking when I get home from this trip.

“He has more clothes than me courtesy of gifts from our wonderful group of friends and family, and his mum is recovering really well from her ordeal.”

Taking part in China this weekend is an amateur golfer barely into his teens, 13-year-old home favourite Guan Tianlang, who will smash the record for the youngster player ever to take part in a European Tour event.

The youngster is 13 years and 177 days old, some 103 days younger than Lo Shih-kai, who set the previous record in the 2003 Hong Kong Open.