David Howell re-discovers form in time as he returns to Avantha




Greater Noida, March 12: David Howell is no stranger to India. In fact he is one of the few players, who has made India his regular stop on the European Tour’s international schedule. He has been to India for each of the four previous stagings of European Tour events in India, including the last three Avantha Masters.

David Howell re-discovers form in time as he returns to Avantha Masters

David Howell re-discovers form in time as he returns to Avantha Masters

And now Howell, who once bested Tiger Wood enroute to winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2006, is back for the fourth edition of the Avantha, within weeks of playing the inaugural Golf Premier League last month.

Said Howell, “I’ve always enjoyed playing in India, it’s a fascinating country. You see some sights and sounds which you’re not used to seeing back home in Europe, so it really opens your eyes.”

Speaking of golf in India, the 37-year-old Englishman added, “I was out here two or three weeks ago for Shiv (Kapur)’s tournament, which was played up near Mumbai. It was a lot of fun to do something a bit different, and hopefully the concept takes off. It was a 14-hole, day/night team event, and it’s got real potential. Team golf’s always a lot of fun, and if they can get a few sponsors on board I can really see it taking off. It can be difficult to find the right week in the schedule for those sort of events, but if they can find a suitable date in the diary, I’m surer it could work.”

“There is a huge amount of talent in India and you can a lot of young talent coming up.”

Howell has not tasted victory since 2006, though he came close a few times.  “I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve had one week off since playing in South Africa, spent a bit of time with the family and did a bit of practice. I’m in a good run of form, so I come into the week in confident mood.”

Slowly but steadily, Howell has been getting back into the rhythm that once made him a Ryder Cup player back in 2004 and also won titles in Dubai, Shanghai and the BMW International.

“I’ve been playing consistently for the past year now, and I have to give my new coach [Jonathan Wallet] a lot of credit for that. He’s got me to see things a bit differently, and I’ve worked differently over the past 12 months than I had the previous for our five years. It’s paid dividends. I’ve worked on fewer things and as a result I’ve probably worked on them a bit better, so it’s quality rather than the quantity of work. I haven’t gone off on any tangents, which I maybe have done in the past. I’ve been working consistently, and my golf game has been more consistent as a result,” said Howell, who in 2012 was fourth in Open de France, tied fifth at ISPS Handa Perth International and T-12 at Alfred Dunhill. This year in 2013, he was tied sixth at Abu Dhabi and tied 10th at Tshwane Open.

“But bit by bit the results have picked up and my confidence and belief have come back. I certainly feel a lot more confident now than I was a year ago, and my game is a lot better so that makes perfect sense,” added Howell, who is also an accomplished after-dinner speaker and TV commentator.

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