DAVID Howell will be hoping for a marked improvement when he travels to the British Masters this week.

The 43-year-old has suffered a torrid time on the European Tour this season with injury continuing to hamper his progress.

Last week, at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Howell and his celebrity partner Hugh Grant finished 10-over-par after their opening two day, earning them tied 159th place on the leaderboard.

Building up to the Walton Heath tournament two-time Ryder Cup winner Howell had suffered with a brief neck injury which had disrupted his preparation for the contest.

Howell starts at 1.15pm this afternoon, alongside Italian Andrea Pavan and Frenchman Alexander Levy on the opening hole.

Wiltshire's Jordan Smith will also be present this weekend.

Derry Hill's Smith claimed a respectable tied 32nd place in Scotland last week despite tricky weather conditions and will be hoping to move further up the standings this week.

Smith has an early start, as he gets his round underway at 8am and tees off on the 10th with South Africa’s Brandon Stone and fellow Englishman Richard McEvoy.

At last year’s event, Smith just about managed to sneak in the top 100 as a score of two-over-par earned him a tied 99th place, while Howell was ruled out of the competition with a back injury.