DAVID Howell put the misery of a terrible final round at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships behind him at the Italian Open today.

The Swindon star shot a 10-over-par 82 on the Kingsbarns Links course last Saturday to finish the tournament in Scotland 14-over.

Yet the two-time Ryder Cup winner, who made his comeback from a long standing back problem last week, showed no signs of being down in the dumps at the Golf Club Milano as he shot a four-under 67.

However, the 42-year-old, teeing off in Monza on the 10th, found himself behind the eight-ball right from the start as he fired a bogey four.

But Howell hit back straightaway on the 11th with a birdie three.

He then picked up two more shots with birdies on 14 and 16 before handing one of those back at the 17th.

After parring the next four holes, Howell charged up the leaderboard with birdies on four and six before hitting his sixth birdie of the day on the ninth.

Meanwhile, Derry Hill’s Jordan Smith ended his first round in Italy one-under despite hitting four birdies.

The Bowood pro, who is currently the leading rookie on the European Tour, saw birdies on five, nine, 14 and 15 tempered by bogeys at 10, 12 and 17.