A SECOND under-par round saw David Howell safely make the cut at the Czech Masters on Friday, although he was unable to climb the leaderboard as he may have hoped.

After opening up the tournament with a fine three-under 69 on Thursday, Swindon star Howell could only follow it up with a one-under 71 in the second round.

That saw him drop from inside the top 25 on the leaderboard to outside the top 40 and book himself an earlier tee time than had looked on the cards for Saturday’s third round.

Howell heads into the weekend’s action at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague eight shots off the halfway lead, with Italian Edoardo Molinari setting the pace at 12-under after back-to-back rounds of 66.

It was a case of no thrills or spills for Howell at the start of his second round as he got day two under way with a run of six pars in a row.

Things suddenly burst into life on the seventh hole as Howell recorded a birdie at the short par-three before another shot was claimed at the ninth.

That saw the Broome Manor man reach the turn at two-under and up to five-under overall.

One of those shots was immediately surrendered with a bogey at the par-five 10th hole before Howell was able to bring back a manner of clam to proceedings with three straight pars.

Howell then picked up a birdie at the 14th – his third of the day – but hopes of finishing the day at five-under or better went awry with a disappointing finish.

Bogey was recorded at hole 17 before Howell rounded off his day with a closing par to return to the clubhouse with a one-under round of 71 and leave the 43-year-old on four-under overall.