DAVID Howell’s disappointing start to his 2019 European Tour season continued today when he failed to make the cut at the Saudi International despite an improved second-round performance.

Swindon star Howell shot a one-under second round of 69 on Friday at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club to claw his way back to one-over overall, only to miss the cut by a single stroke.

As was the case at last week’s Dubai Desert Class, a tough first round was to prove Howell’s undoing as a two-over 72 on Thursday left him with a fight to make it through to the weekend’s action.

Fellow Wiltshire player Jordan Smith did make the cut on level par after a one-over second round of 71 followed his opening 69.

Needing a positive start to his second round to climb the leaderboard, Howell immediately got himself into red figures for the day. Teeing off at the 10th hole, the Broome Manor man birdied his opener.

A run of four pars followed before back-to-back bogeys on his sixth and seventh holes dropped him to one-over for the day and three-over overall, a figure he was unable to improve before the turn.

However, the 43-year-old enjoyed much better fortunes over his back nine and birdies at his 14th and 16th holes made it three for the day and a one-under round, but that was still not enough to make the cut.

American former world number one Dustin Johnson leads at the halfway stage on 11-under after a nine-under second round of 61.