DAVID Howell will be hoping a trip to Italy will break his run of missed cuts on the European Tour as he gets under way in the Italian Open this morning.

Swindon star Howell has failed to qualify for the weekend action at his last four events on the European Tour.

The last time he played over all four rounds was at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland back in late August.

The 44-year-old has failed to break the top 100 at each of those previous four tournaments, with Howell finishing in a tie for 109th place at the Open de Espana last week after posting a disappointing total of five-over after two rounds.

This week’s event in Rome represents one of eight premier Rolex Series tournaments on the Tour, so Howell will be keen for a strong performance.

The Broome Manor man finished in a tie for 42nd place at the Italian Open last season, reaching nine-under after four rounds.

However, that event took place at Gardagolf Country Club in Brescia, whereas this week’s tournament is at Olgiata Golf Club in the nation’s capital.

Howell gets his first round under way at 7.40am BST, teeing off at the first hole alongside Scotland’s Grant Forrest and South African Haydn Porteous.