Howell, after struggle last week, seeks to return to form at Saint-Omer Open

David Howell, Saint-Omer Open
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David Howell is targeting a top-10 finish or even a win at the Saint-Omer Open against a field made up of players who didn't make it into the U.S. Open.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | 2:59 p.m.

LUMBRES, France -- Former Ryder Cup player David Howell is looking to get his game back on track in this week's Saint-Omer Open in northern France.

The 36-year-old Englishman carded a disappointing 4-over final round at the Nordea Masters last week, having put himself in a good position heading into the last day.


The Saint-Omer Open debuted in 2003, and has been played at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club in northern France in each of its 10 seasons.

He hopes not having to face some of the bigger names on the European Tour -- last week's winner Lee Westwood and all the other top names are at the U.S. Open -- will help him get over Sunday's wobble.

"The event is a pretty small one and the field will be considerably weaker than what I am used to playing in," he said. "Hopefully that will mean I can have a good top-10 finish or even a win, and also get my game back on track."

Howell started to get his game together a bit at the recent ISPS Handa Wales Open, and played well in the second and third rounds in Sweden.

"But I really do not know what happened in the fourth," he admitted. "I was expecting to have a good day and push up the leaderboard a bit, so what happened was a shock.

"I just putted abysmally. I do not know what happened because it just went to pieces during the final round."

Last year's winner Matt Zions has nothing but good memories as he returns to defend his title at an event that is dual-ranked between the European Tour and Challenge Tour.

"I've thought about it a lot in the last 12 months," said the Australian. "I have such fond memories of the place as it was my first win."

Former champions David Dixon, Carl Suneson, Cesar Monasterio and Jose-Filipe Lima are also in the field, along with another former Ryder Cup player, Oliver Wilson.