News All Articles
David Howell breaks DP World Tour appearance record at 722nd event

David Howell breaks DP World Tour appearance record at 722nd event

David Howell has overtaken Miguel Ángel Jiménez and set the new DP World Tour appearance record with his 722nd event at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

His milestone achievement comes fittingly at the home of golf on the ten year anniversary of his victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2013.

"It sort of feels a bit weird really," said Howell.

"But lovely, listen, you start off trying to get on tour, you want to earn a living, you eventually realise you're going to do that and have big hopes winning tournaments, eventually Ryder Cups, but I don't think you'd ever dream of being here this many years later. And overtaken first, Sam, and eventually, Miguel, who still goes strong as we know. It's been a life's work and it's been amazing.

"And to jump over and above Miguel here at the Old Course is amazing. So I'm really looking forward to it."

Howell made his DP World Tour debut at the 1994 Benson and Hedges International Open and the following 29 years and 722 appearances have seen some incredible moments, including five victories and playing on two victorious European Ryder Cup teams.

His longevity in the game saw him hit a different milestone last year, when he became just the third person in DP World Tour history to reach 700 events. Sam Torrance was the first man to achieve the feat in 2006, and held on to a long-standing appearance record of 706 events before it was broken by Jiménez at the Hero Open in 2020, having reached 700 events of his own at the previous year's Open Championship.

While that was a remarkable achievement on it's own, Howell soon became encouraged by the likes of Torrance and others to pursue the record itself. And once he was committed to reaching 722, Howell was keen to make it line up with the anniversary of his last win. In order to do that, he asked for an invite to the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre last month, and was delighted when it happened.

"I wouldn't say it's been in my head, but when I got to 700, a lot has been going on in the world of golf the last few years," Howell explained.

"There were some pretty stressful moments for me as a player and chairman of the players' committee and stuff. It's not been an easy last few years on a personal front from that perspective.

"But once I got to 700, then I thought, well, maybe the opportunity is there to get there and actually there's other people. Sam Torrance spoke personally to me, in such a lovely manner. I broadcast with Sam nowadays, and he was pleased I got past him. We've become nice friends over the past couple years.

"More than anything, other people say what an achievement they thought it was more so than what I thought. The more other people mentioned it, I bought into it and sure enough I've played every chance I could get this year and here we are.

"It means a lot actually, the last win I had here at St Andrews was amazing," he added of doing it here.

"The Barras family in Crans were very nice in giving me an invite for me a few weeks ago. Have to mention that invite request allowed me to be here for this moment, and kudos for them inviting me once more."

When Howell got to 700, he received a video message from Miguel, but other than that, it's not something the pair have spoken about or joked about battling for while they both still play.

"No, we haven't really discussed it," he said of the likelihood of them going back and forth for the record.

"Obviously I got a video message from him when I hit 700. But no, we are not battling it out to be the last man standing. You know, I'm pretty sure Miguel will overtake me again unless I play exceedingly well this week. I'm getting very close to the end of my playing days sadly on this tour which will be a sad moment for me.

"Miguel with the brilliance he's shown into his 50s is I'm sure just about more than welcome at any tournament that we have at any time of the year. If he's got it in his sights, I'm sure he can leapfrog over me once more. I'll leave that down to him. He's placed pretty well in America. Hopefully he won't. But I don't think it's going to be a running battle."

David Howell: Career snapshot

After coming through the Qualifying School in 1995, Howell established himself on Tour, claiming a maiden win at the 1999 Dubai Desert Classic and earning himself a place on the Ryder Cup team in 2004 where he took one point from two matches in Europe’s thumping 18½-9½ victory.

A second win arrived at the 2005 BMW International Open and he would claim some international recognition six weeks later with a tie for sixth at the WGC-American Express Championship, but his real breakthrough came in November.

At the HSBC Champions, he held off the challenge of Tiger Woods to claim a three-shot win and kick-start a 2006 season that saw him also win the BMW PGA Championship and finish a career-high third on the then Order of Merit - a third consecutive top ten on the season-long standings.

"Wentworth was definitely the most satisfied I've ever felt after a golf tournament," he said. "To win our flagship event near to where I live and in quite nice fashion, that was amazing. That walk up the 18th was definitely the walk of dreams.

"That was the one that I had always wanted to do well in as a DP World Tour member. You certainly make a beeline for certain events and Wentworth was one of those so to come out victorious in 2006 was amazing."

That form also earned him a second consecutive Ryder Cup appearance, where he earned 2½ points from three matches as Europe once again trounced the United States by nine points.

His fifth and latest DP World Tour victory came at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2013 and four years later he became the Tour’s Tournament Committee Chairman.