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Swindon's Howell in contention
DAVID Howell admitted he could have played better despite putting himself in contention going into the final two rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The Broome Manor professional is tied for seventh place on five under at the half-way stage of the event, alongside Nicolas Colsaerts who is closing in on a place in the European team for next month’s Ryder Cup.
Howell completed his second round three under despite starting badly in Scotland, as he bogeyed the opening hole, but he bounced back in style as he picked up a shot on the par-five second.
Pars followed on three, four and five, and a two on the par-three sixth saw Howell begin to surge up the leaderboard as he turned at one under.
Another birdie on the 11th was followed by six pars, and for the second day in succession Howell picked up a shot on the 18th as he finished strongly.
Howell is three shots behind clubhouse leader Mark Foster, and was pleased to make his eighth straight cut on the European Tour despite admitting he was not at his best.
“It was a strange one really because I have to be honest, I didn’t really play that well having played beautifully in the opening round.
“This was my eighth straight made cut, and that has to be pleasing because I am putting a good little run together.
“I have not made a cut at Gleneagles for a fair while either, and it was good to finally do that.
“Things are better now than they have been for a fair while, and I am feeling a lot more confident and better mentally in the game.
“It was a good solid round and I was never really in any serious trouble, which proves I am doing the things I used to do earlier in my career which maybe I haven’t done for a while.”
Howell’s round could easily have turned out differently following his bogey on the opening hole, but the 36-year-old was pleased with the way he responded to dropping a shot.
“The first wasn’t really playing all that difficult to be honest, which makes it even more frustrating not to have made a good start.
“My tee shot on the second wasn’t great either to be honest, but I managed to get it up and down and I was off and running.
“It was a solid round throughout really, and I am looking forward to the weekend.”