SWINDON’S David Howell will hope for a marked improvement this weekend as he participates in the Portugal Masters.

The 43-year-old has failed to make the cut in his last three events, he most recently missed out at the KLM Open in the Netherlands.

The two-time Ryder Cup winner had a recent complaint of a shoulder injury, topping off what has been another disappointing campaign on the European Tour so far.

The Portugal Masters in Vilamoura has a slightly more relaxed feel compared to many contests at golf’s top table, which is something Howell embraces when he visits.

“This week I’m at one of the most chilled out tournaments of the year, the Portugal Masters,” said Howell.

“It’s a good golf course it should be great weather and there are enthusiastic golfers in the crowd.

“It’s a nice week in the European Tour.”

Howell tees off at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf course at 2.10 BST, alongside German Sebastian Heisele and South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl.

Also in action is Derry Hill’s Jordan Smith, who gets going at the much earlier time of 8.40 BST on the 10th with Andrew Johnston and Eddie Pepperell.

The 25-year-old says he is hoping for a positive end for what has been a frustrating second year in the European Tour.

“I’m happy to get a nice top 10 result under the belt after the tied 20th I had in Denmark,’’ he said after finishing 10th at the KLM Open a week ago.

“It’s nice to start bringing those performances back.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work with my coach (Simon Shanks, at Bowood) and getting the swing in place and it’s all starting to pay off now. It’s looking good actually.’’

Laurie Canter also starts at 8.40 BST with Jason Schrivener and Maximillian Kieffer, but will begin on the opening hole.

Cumberwell Park-based Canter has had sporadic success so far this year, he missed the cut in the Netherlands but is aiming to recreate hid display in Switzerland where he claimed tied 16th place two weeks ago.