DAVID Howell endured a tough opening day of scoring at the Open de France as he carded three-over par round of 74.

The Swindon star struggled initially as he found himself two-over par just five holes deep into his opening round in Paris.

A pair of bogeys on the par-four first and fourth holes tripped up the two-time Ryder Cup winner, before a birdie three on the sixth went some way to repair the damage.

The 43-year-old slipped up again a hole later, registering his third bogey-five, but was able to recover slightly with a birdie-four on the ninth.

On the back nine, Howell drifted out to three-over for the day when a double bogey on the par-three 11th further curtailed his progress.

However, the Swindon man was able to recover from this point as he settled down with back-to-back level-par scores on the 12th and 13th, leading on to a birdie-four on the 14th.

Howell then undid his hard work with his fourth bogey of the day when he came across the 177 yard par-three 16th.

With his round drawing to a close, the 43-year-old was able to hold out for the final two holes, picking up a level-par four on the penultimate hole.

The Swindon man then rounded off the opening day with another level-par on the 18th, leaving him three over for the day at the end of the opening round.

Fellow Wiltshire player Jordan Smith was also in action, he recorded a level-par 71.