DAVID Howell was unable to rectify a poor start at the Open de Espana after another over-par round on day two saw him miss the cut.

Swindon star Howell had left himself with a mountain to climb to qualify for the weekend action in Spain after a four-over opening round of 75 on Thursday.

That left him outside the top 100 on the leaderboard, and things did not improve in Friday’s second round as the Broome Manor man dropped further off the pace with a one-over 72 to fall to five-over overall.

Teeing off at the 10th hole at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid on Friday, Howell’s second round got off to the worst possible start as he posted an opening bogey.

After back-to-back pars, that dropped shot was reclaimed at the 13th hole – Howell’s fourth – as he posted a first birdie of the day.

However, another bogey arrived three holes later and Howell reached the turn at one-over for the day after closing his front nine with two more pars.

The second nine started with three further pars in succession before Howell’s round took a topsy-turvy turn.

Through his 13th and 16th holes – numbers four through seven in the traditional layout – the 44-year-old went birdie, bogey, bogey, birdie to remain exactly as he was at one-over for the day.

And there was still no further improvement in his score before the finish as Howell closed his round with back-to-back pars to sign for a one-over 72 and drop back to five-over overall.