DAVID Howell hopes to overcome what he described as ‘one of the worst putting performances of my career’ at the British Masters last week when competing in southern Spain at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters.

Swindon-born Howell, 43, flopped at Walton Heath last week, finishing 119th after recording rounds of 78 and 77.

While poor putting deflated Howell, the two-time Ryder Cup winner insists he understands the level he can perform at and described last week’s blip at a ‘one-off’.

He said: “I had five three-putts and a four-putt on day one, that was probably the worst putting day I’ve had on a golf course in 23 years on tour.

“I didn’t hit the ball too badly, and I played some reasonable golf.

“But everything I did around the greens was wrong and it put me behind.

“Once I lost my momentum on Friday – and the cut was out of line – things dwindled from there.

“My score certainly didn’t resemble the way that I played.

“It was a frustrating result in what was such a big week.”

Despite his performance, Howell hasn’t overreacted to the result - believing additional practice will make little difference to his game.

Instead, an increase in discipline is hoped by Howell to be the key to his success.

“It was a one off, I generally putt well,” said Howell.

“I haven’t been putting as well as I know I can in the last few months, which is frustrating.

“I’ll put a fraction more effort and discipline into my practice this week with the putter.

“The greens are very quick in Spain, my touch has to be nice before the competition starts.

“Trying to enjoy the greens will be key, it will be tricky to putt on.”

Howell will tee-off at 2.05pm (local time) this afternoon in the company of Edoardo Molinari and Matthew Southgate.

Describing the Sotogrande-based course, Howell admitted players will have to be on top of their mental game if they are to experience success – adding that controlling the ball will play a key factor.

“I’ve played here a lot over the years,” said Howell.

“I haven’t got a brilliant record, though I did finish third one year in the glory days.

“I enjoy the challenge, it’s a very tough golf course.

“You have to play and control the ball well in all elements of your game, but more than anything you need to be patient.”