DAVID Howell continued his promising form on his return to the European Tour with an opening round of 69 at the Czech Masters yesterday as Wiltshire’s other representatives also made solid starts.

Howell, who finished inside the top 30 at the Nordea Masters in Sweden last week in his first event back in action for more than a month, carried that momentum onwards at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague to lie three under par after day one, the same mark as fellow county player Laurie Canter.

Wiltshire’s Jordan Smith was a shot behind on two under after an opening 70.

Howell, the two-time Ryder Cup winner from Swindon, made a superb start as he birdied his opening two holes and then parred his way to the turn.

An eagle three at the long 10th followed and although he stalled somewhat with bogeys and 13 and 15th, he birdied the 16th to repair some of the damage.

Canter also made a blistering start to his tournament with three birdies in his first seven holes after starting from the 10th.

Despite bogeying the 17th, the 28 year old, from the Cumberwell Park club in Bradford on Avon, then added birdies at the first and second to move to four under par before a bogey at the fourth saw him card an opening 69.

Smith, making his return to action after missing the cut at the US PGA Championship in Missouri earlier this month, was a shot behind on two under par overall.

The Derry Hill player birdied his opening hole, the 10th, but slipped over par after bogeys at the long 12th and par four 15th.

A flawless back nine got him back on the right track though, birdies at the first, third and fifth, returning him to the clubhouse in 70 shots.

Two-time major champion John Daly rolled back the years to claim a share of the early lead during the opening round.

Daly, who won the 1991 US PGA Championship and 1995 Open, has played mostly on the Champions Tour since turning 50 in 2016 but was making the most of a sponsor’s invitation to the European Tour event in Prague.

The 52-year-old American birdied his first three holes of the day and also picked up shots on the sixth and ninth to reach the turn in 31.