Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Two-under Howell in Sterne's shadow
DAVID Howell shot two-under-par at the Dubai Desert Classic today but it was his playing partner Richard Sterne who caught the eye.
Howell’s round of 70 at the Emirates Golf Club left him at the halfway point of the field while Sterne shot to the top of the leaderboard on 10-under, just one shot shy of Ernie Els’ course record.
While two-under was hardly a disappointing score, Broome Manor pro Howell acknowledged that ideal weather conditions might have yielded something better.
“I didn’t play very well to be honest, having played absolutely beautifully in the pro-am on Wednesday,” said Howell, a former champion at the Classic in 1999.
“The conditions were perfect and scoring was good as the course was playing fairly easily.
“I played with the leader (Sterne) who had an absolutely fantastic round, he showed what could be done which was exceptional.
“I made a slow start but hung in there well after that. I couldn’t have hoped to score better than two-under with the way I played.
“I didn’t hit the ball that well, hit two or three scrappy drives and a couple of poor iron shots.
“On the positive front I shot two-under which is never terrible, and I’ll just have to play the second round a lot better.”
Teeing off at the 10th, the two-time Ryder Cup winner made a modest start, sinking pars at four of the first five holes with a bogey at 11 setting him back.
However, gains at 16 and 18 saw Howell move under-par for the first time.
The final nine holes were a solid affair, with the 37-year-old picking up a birdie three on the fifth.
The Swindonian is due to go in search of his 11th successive cut at 8.55am GMT tomorrow morning (12.55pm local time).