Two-Time Ryder Cup Winner Howell Flew the Flag for Swindon

By Swindon Link - 12 July 2022

Sport

David Howell is considered one of the greatest sports professionals to ever come out of Swindon, and when you look at what he achieved in golf, it is easy to see why.

Howell rose to as high as number nine in the world golf rankings, he was successful five times on the European Tour, finished in a tie for seventh in the Open Championship and he helped Europe to two Ryder Cup victories.

Although he was unable to win a Major Championship, he came very close in 2007 in the oldest of the four big tournaments. In what were difficult conditions at Royal Birkdale on the final day, he shot a fantastic round of 67 which brought him up the leaderboard.

Howell, who is now the Chairman of the European Tour players’ committee, will be keeping a close eye on the next generation of players at St Andrews this year. Recent US PGA Championship winner Matt Fitzpatrick is 14/1 in the Open Championship 2022 winner odds. If successful, he will be the first English winner of the tournament since Nick Faldo in 1992.

Beating Tiger Woods at His Peak

One of Howell’s best wins as a professional came at the 2005 HSBC Champions. He was involved in a battle with former world number one Tiger Woods on the final day of the tournament, and it was the man from Swindon who came out on top. He prevailed by three strokes ahead of the 15-time major winner.

Later that season, Howell won the flagship event on the European Tour, the BMW Championship at Wentworth Club in Virginia Waters, Surrey. He blew the field away by five shots in a clinical performance in front of his home supporters.

 

Howell often thrived from playing in the UK, and that was also evident during the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland. In what proved to be his last major win as a professional, he beat American Peter Uihlein in a play-off for the trophy.

Two Ryder Cup Wins

Victory in a Ryder Cup is always a special moment in any player’s career, so Howell will be forever remembered in history for doing it twice with Europe. The Swindon-born golfer featured as a rookie in 2004 and he successfully teamed up with Paul Casey to beat Jim Furyk and Chad Campbell in a fourball.

Two years later, Howell played his part in ensuring Europe defended their trophy at the K Club in County Kildare. He did not lose any of his three matches in the competition. He beat Brett Wetterich 5 & 4 in his singles contest, while he paired again with Casey to beat Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson in a foursome on day two.

Howell has been tipped to be a future Ryder Cup captain for Europe. If he is able to lead the continent to glory, he will join a small group of men who have prevailed both as a player and captain.

Hopefully what Howell achieved in the sport can aspire golfers in Swindon to reach the top of the sport in the future.

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