DAVID Howell was unable to make the most of good scoring conditions at the Scottish Open today as he opened up his tournament with a level-par first round of 70.

In total, 96 of the 156-strong field were able to break par on the first day of action at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian.

American Luke List leads the way at the head of the leaderboard after a superb seven-under round of 63, with five players tied for second on six-under.

Howell’s level-par beginning sees him head into tomorrow’s second round just inside the top 100, in a tie for 97th place.

Swindon star Howell got his round off to an encouraging start and hauled himself under-par after just two holes following a birdie at the long second.

However, that did not kick-start a run of strong scoring as four consecutive pars followed.

The Broome Manor man was then back to even overall after he dropped his first shot of the day with bogey at the seventh hole.

Howell was able to rectify that immediately with a birdie at the short eighth, before another par at number nine saw him reach the turn at one-under.

The 43-year-old was back to even three holes into his back nine, though, after a bogey at the par-three 12th.

And that was as good as it got for Howell as he put together a solid if unspectacular finish to his round, concluding play with a run of six pars in succession to end the day level overall.

Two-time Ryder Cup winner Howell tees off his second round at 10.00am tomorrow morning, playing alongside Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen.

Meanwhile, Howell’s fellow Wiltshire players Laurie Canter and Jordan Smith both enjoyed better fortunes on the first day in Scotland, shooting a three-under par round of 67 apiece.

Canter, who plays out of Cumberwell Park in Bradford on Avon, had a eagle, three birdies and two bogeys on his card, while Bowood player Smith’s round included three birdies and a solitary bogey.