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Howell on brink of top 10 at Ballantine's
DAVID Howell pulled himself to within touching distance of the top 10 following a strong second round at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea.
The Broome Manor pro has regularly missed cuts so far this year but was at the upper end of the leaderboard this time out and easily qualified for the weekend’s play.
Following Thursday’s round of one-over-par in testing conditions, the Swindonian was well-placed to make the cut, but showed some of his best form of 2012 to card a round of three-under par in Icheon, leaving him in an eight-way tie for 11th.
Howell began his second round in the early hours of this morning in exactly the same way he had on Thursday, parring the first before dropping in a birdie at the par-four second.
A bogey at the fourth was not what the Wiltshire man had intended but he came roaring back with birdies at the par-four sixth and par-four eighth.
Howell’s score for the day remained at two-under for the next five holes as he recorded a string of pars, and matters got even better when he carded a three at the par-four 14th.
While a bogey at the 16th blotted his copybook, the former Ryder Cup man made up for it with a gain on the 18th, which he had dropped a shot on the previous day.
Leading the field after today’s second round is Austrian Bernd Wiesberger on seven-under, while Aussie Marcus Fraser is a shot behind.
Swede Oscar Floren is also in close attendance while experienced Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez is lurking dangerously in the chasing pack.
Howell is due to tee off at 1.50am GMT tomorrow (9.50am local time) and he will be accompanied by former Open runner-up Ian Poulter and South African George Coetzee.