SWINDON golfer David Howell starts his next attempt at qualifying for the Open this afternoon when teeing off at the Irish Open.

The 43-year-old agonisingly missed out in Final Qualifying at Prince’s in Sandwich, Kent, on Tuesday as he recorded a bogey on the last – his 36th hole of the day – to finish in a tie for fourth when only the top three earned places at the final Major of the year at Royal Portrush in two weeks’ time.

Teeing off at Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare this afternoon (3.20pm), Howell begins his next attempt to qualify for the Open fresh off the back of a missed cut last week as a three-over second round proved to be one shot too many at the Valderrama Masters.

Howell said: “There’s no other way to describe Final Qualifying for the Open other than being desperately disappointing to miss out.

“I recorded a bogey on the last, which was my only one of the day. It was a cruel blow.

“I didn’t get it done, that’s the downside, but the positive is that I played two good rounds of golf.

“I performed really well, and had a really good go at it.

“I would say they were probably the best two rounds of golf I’ve played all year, and it was much more like what I used to be doing.”

Former Broome Manor pro Howell believes his form has been trending in the right direction in recent weeks and he is desperate to kick on and start challenging for a place on the top 25 of a leaderboard sooner rather than later.

Howell said: “I’ve got a nice late tee time in the first round in Ireland, so I can have a bit of a lie-in and see what the scoring is like before I go out.

“You never know, with the late tee time, the wind might die down a little bit towards the end of my round.

“Things are stacking up quite nicely and my job is to take the positives out of my last three performances and polish up a couple of other things that can help me get to the next step for where I want to be.

“Sooner or later, I need to make a big move. Hopefully that can come either this week or next.”