DAVID Howell has stated he is not ready to see the end of his career just yet with the threat of just one more season on the European Tour ahead for the Swindon golfer.

Since turning professional in 1995, Howell has always qualified for the subsequent campaign either through his own merit or as a result of an exemption category – be it injury or money list.

But with no more insurance opportunities available to the Broome Manor man, Howell is teetering on the brink of being forced to give up playing professional golf at the highest level following a prolonged spell of inadequate play.

Since recording three second places, a third and a top-10 in 2015, Howell narrowly qualified inside the 120-man cut-off limit in 2016, but has failed to finish inside the Race to Dubai’s top 170 in his last three seasons and is currently ranked outside the world’s top 1,600.

If a similar situation is created in the 2020 season and Howell does not keep his European Tour card on merit, the two-time Ryder Cup winner may be forced to retire from the game he loves earlier than originally planned.

Howell said: “I’m fully aware of the situation before me this coming season. It’s the first time in 22 years or so that I’m entering a year not fully exempt.

“I won my first tournament in 1999, and I’ve always been in a fully exempt situation ever since, so that’s new for next year.

“I’m not ready to see the end of my career. I’m a golfer at heart and I hope to carry on playing for many years to come.”

Howell likened his current predicament to that of Brexit, saying he hopes he can extend any chance of leaving Europe for a little while longer as his love for the game still remains.

Nevertheless, the 44-year-old conceded if he endures another torrid season form-wise, that passion for the sport may wane – although he hopes that not to be the case and is planning for a return to more successful days.

Howell said: “It’s been so unenjoyable for the last two years. If my form carries on the way it has been, I’m sure I will get sick of it at some point.

“But I’m not there yet, so I’m not putting plans in place for me failing next year.

“I’m putting plans in place to try and play well next year and continue my career on the Tour.

“It’s all I know, and I know there will be other things out there for me to do within the golfing world should the worst happen.

“But I’m trying to kick that down the road – a bit like Brexit – for as long as possible and I want to do some good things again.”