SWINDON golfer David Howell insists he is not focusing on trying to gain one of the final three qualifying spots for this year’s Open Championship as he takes to The Renaissance Club in North Berwick for the start of the Scottish Open.

In order to compete at the final Major of the year, the 43-year-old would need to finish in the top 10 at this week’s European Tour event and hope that no more than two players above him had not already booked their spots at Royal Portrush.

However, Howell has taken the pressure of that goal off himself by saying he simply wants to put a good sequence of four rounds together and the rest will take care of itself.

Howell said: “I’m certainly not someone who is focusing on The Open spots.

"In my circumstances, qualifying for The Open would be amazing, having missed out by one the other week at Final Qualifying.

“That was my glorious chance, of course, but I’d grab a top-10 finish with two hands in the Scottish Open having not finished in the top-10 for God knows how long now.

“I’m looking for a good week and if it’s an amazing week and I grab one of those spots, I’d be delighted.

“But for me, I think it’s just a case of going out there and putting a good performance in.”

Howell is set to compete in a field that includes previous Major champions such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Henrik Stenson.

Several other players, such as Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Matt Kuchar, will travel across to the UK one week early as they continue preparations for golf’s oldest Major.

And the former Broome Manor pro is enjoying the elite company that he finds himself in while north of the border.

Howell said: “It’s got a big tournament feel about it this week, there’s no doubt about that.

“All the American players coming into town, which is great for our tour, and that makes it all the better if you have a good week.

“You want to play against some of the best players in the world and this week, I get the opportunity, so I’m looking forward to it.”