DAVID Howell hauled himself up the Joburg Open leaderboard with a superb three-under second round of 69 this morning but still looks set to miss the cut in South Africa.

The Swindon star was in a tie for 79th place on three-under overall – one shot adrift of the projected cut mark – when play was called to a premature halt at Randpark Golf Club late in the afternoon due to the threat of lightning.

Only a handful of players are still to complete their second rounds and will do so early on Saturday morning, with Howell needing the majority of those to come back towards him on the leaderboard if he is to qualify for the weekend’s final two rounds.

However, writing on Twitter, Howell seemed to be accepting of his fate.

He posted: “How did my golfing 2017 end? I’ll tell you how, I missed from eight feet on the last to make the cut.”

The two-time Ryder Cup winner could only post a level par 72 on the Bushwillow course in Thursday’s opening round but today’s outing on the Firethorn course was much more to his liking.

Broome Manor man Howell hit his straps early with birdies at the fourth and sixth holes before surrendering his only shot of the day with a bogey at the seventh.

Howell soon set that right, though, with another birdie at the ninth to reach the turn at two-under.

And the 42-year-old swiftly followed that up with another at the 10th but no further gained shots were forthcoming from there as Howell finished his round with eight straight pars to finish three-under for his round and overall.