DAVID Howell made a less than ideal start to the HNA Open de France after posting a score of two-over par in his opening round.

The 42-year-old, who was making a comeback from injury after withdrawing from the BMW International Open with a hip problem last week, started on the ninth hole in France.

Things started well for the two-time Ryder Cup winner, as he picked up a birdie two on the 10th, before scuppering his progress with a bogey six and a bogey five on the 14th and 15th.

The Swindon star further damaged his scorecard with a triple bogey on the par-three second, however, Howell made up some ground by collecting a birdie three on the following hole.

On the par-four seventh, Howell picked up his third birdie before adding that stroke back onto his tally on the eighth, where he hit a birdie four.

On his last hole, Howell was able to repair some of the damage with his final birdie of the day, which left him two-over and a round of 73.

Elsewhere, Derry Hill’s Jordan Smith had a much smoother outing as he shot a round of 70, to leave him one-under par.

Smith’s only blemish came on the par-four fourth, where he hit a bogey, but made up for that with a pair of birdies.

The first came on the par five third, while the second came soon after on the par-four seven.