Noida: David Howell, who once bested Tiger Wood en-route to winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2006, is back for the fourth edition of the Avantha Masters within weeks of playing the inaugural Golf Premier League last month. Howell has been to India for each of the four previous stagings of European Tour events in India, including the last three Avantha Masters.
"I've always enjoyed playing in India, it's a fascinating country. You see some sights and sounds which you're not used to seeing back home in Europe, so it really opens your eyes," said Howell.
Speaking of golf in India, the 37-year-old Englishman said, "I was out here two or three weeks ago for Shiv (Kapur)'s tournament, which was played up near Mumbai. It was a lot of fun to do something a bit different, and hopefully the concept takes off. It was a 14-hole, day/night team event, and it's got real potential."
"There is a huge amount of talent in India and you can a lot of young talent coming up," he added. Howell has not tasted victory since 2006, though he came close a few times.
"I'm really looking forward to it. I've had one week off since playing in South Africa, spent a bit of time with the family and did a bit of practice. I'm in a good run of form, so I come into the week in confident mood."
Slowly but steadily, Howell has been getting back into the rhythm that once made him a Ryder Cup player back in 2004 and also won titles in Dubai, Shanghai and the BMW International.
"I've been playing consistently for the past year now, and I have to give my new coach [Jonathan Wallet] a lot of credit for that. He's got me to see things a bit differently, and I've worked differently over the past 12 months than I had the previous for our five years. It's paid dividends," he said.