Howell steps up pursuit of maiden win in America

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The Independent Online

David Howell is desperate to justify his world ranking of 17th by breaking his duck on American soil. In fact, the 31-year-old has yet to record a top-four finish in the United States.

Howell, who plays in the Nissan Open starting today, said: "My position in the world is not about making cuts. It's about threatening and winning tournaments."

Staying away from the injuries that have interrupted his career is crucial, but he added: "I'm just looking forward to taking that step this year and really contending down the stretch."

Tiger Woods has decided not to play and will now focus on the Accenture World Match Play Championship. But Ernie Els, like Howell, makes his first start in America this year, while the field also includes the likes of Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington.