Open 2014: David Howell happy with 'best performance'

By Phil CartwrightBBC Sport at Hoylake
David Howell
Howell shot 67 in the final round at Royal Birkdale to finish in a tie for seventh position at the 2008 Open

Swindon's David Howell believes his display at Hoylake was his best ever at an Open Championship.

The 39-year-old was tied for seventh in 2008 and, despite being unable to better that finish at Royal Liverpool, he was delighted with a final total of eight under.

"When I came into the week, my goal was to put together my best Open performance," he told BBC Sport.

"Although it's not my best finish, it's definitely my best performance."

Howell, who ended as the leading Englishman in the field, continued: "This year's not been going great but I've been building into some form.

"Over the past two weeks I haven't finished it off, but this was a much better performance."

Howell carded a level-par 72 on the opening day, having struck the first tee shot of the tournament on Thursday, and followed that up with two rounds of 70 before posting a 68 - his lowest score of the week - on Sunday.

His final round contained six birdies and just two bogeys.

"I played beautifully," said Howell, who is now based in Surrey. "I hit a lot of good shots.

"It's never easy going out with those extra few nerves. You don't want the day to go badly.

"I haven't been in that rarefied air for a while, especially at a major, so it was important for me personally to put in a solid round of golf and I did that."

Elsewhere, world number three Justin Rose finished five under for the tournament after a 72 on the final day, while Luke Donald ended well down the field after shooting a 75 that left him four over.

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