DAVID Howell made a solid start at the Scottish Open today as he began his chase for a seventh successive cut.

The former Ryder Cup star carded a two-under-par 70 at Castle Stuart Golf Links and was relatively pleased with that effort.

But he admitted he might have been better off had he hit straighter of the tee and sunk a few more putts.

“It wasn’t anything special given that we were lucky with the conditions,” he said.

“Two-under was probably about the worst you wanted to be, around and about the cut mark.

“I had a few wonky tee shots, the fairways are fairly generous here so it’s birdies galore if you can keep it straight.

“I had lots of birdie putts but just didn’t hole any really. Three birdies wasn’t many on a course that was there for the taking.

“A couple of poor tee shots took away a couple of those chances.”

However, Howell remains confident that if he does ultimately make the cut tomorrow, another impressive finish is within his grasp.

The Broome Manor pro was tied fourth at the French Open last weekend and is keen to replicate that form.

“I do feel that I have a couple more good rounds left in me,” he said.

Surging into the lead on the opening day was Francesco Molinari, who handed in a flawless card of 10-under that was peppered with birdies.

Three shots back were Soren Kjeldsen and Raphael Jacquelin, with Robert Coles the leading English player on six-under.