exempt place for Royal St.George's with a second place finish
behind first-time winner Phil Golding in Paris.
A broken arm and an injured shoulder have both combined to disrupt
Howell's progress during the last two seasons, but an outstanding
four days across The Channel meant that he is well placed to claim
an Open slot without having to go to final qualifying.
Howell is now in 5th place in the mini money list put in place to
reward the most consistent performers in the build up to the world's
biggest and best championship.
"I'm taking nothing for granted because there are some very
big money events before The Open, but it's up to me now and nobody
enjoys the lottery of final qualifying," said Howell, who collected
one of the biggest cheques of his career.
ISM chief Chubby Chandler paid tribute to the 28-year-old afterwards.
"Just because Howeller has been around for a long time, people
forget just how young he is," he said. "Now he has the
best years ahead of him and I expect him to make the most of them".
As ISM golfers climbed ever closer to another win, Graeme McDowell
also continued his recent fine run, thrilling the French crowd at
the 72nd hole when he registered an albatross after his approach
top the par five found the cup.
Simon Wakefield lived up to his reputation as ISM's iron man when
he played in his 20th event of the season and had a highly creditable
02 July 2003
by Martin Hardy on behalf of ISM