The Englishman followed Torrance and record appearance maker Miguel Ángel Jiménez as only the third player to reach 700 Tour appearances at the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale at Celtic Manor in August.
The 47-year-old admits Scottish Ryder Cup hero Torrance, who held the all-time appearance record from 2010 until it was surpassed by Jiménez in 2020, was an inspiration in his formative years as a golfer.
“Sam was commentating last week and I managed to go into the booth for 20 minutes and talk about the golf with him,” he said.
“When I grew up I remember watching Sam Torrance on Tour, pro-celebrity golf, Sam was a big star and he’s one of the people who helped inspire me with his Ryder Cup performances especially to even get out here.
“To get past his record, and it was a record for a number of years, is amazing. I’m very humbled by it.
“It’s been a life’s work, as he knows. It’s all I’ve ever known. I wouldn’t say I’m still going strong, but I’m still going.
“To get past him, you don’t set off with this as a goal in mind, you have other things in your mind, but when you get close, you look back, reminisce and it’s a wonderful thing.”
The 1995 Qualifying School graduate clinched his maiden title at the 1999 Dubai Desert Classic, before three more arrived in a nine-month span.
His second win came at the BMW International Open, before he held off the challenge of Tiger Woods to win the HSBC Champions and then won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth later in the 2006 season.
Howell, whose fifth Tour win came at St Andrews’ Old Course in 2013, will be just 12 appearances shy of Spaniard Jiménez’s haul of 719 events at the end of this week in Vilamoura.
As the DP World Tour celebrates its 50th anniversary this season, Howell reflected on how golf has evolved over the course of his career: “It's very different in some ways. More Trackmans and Flight Scopes and launch monitors.
“People practising much harder, the gym is busier than it used to be and those things that everyone has become more aware of in sport in general and golf is no different.
“Here we are in the Algarve, Dom Pedro Victoria, we’ve been coming here for nearly 20 years. A lovely venue and people have been coming to the Algarve for 50 years before that, to Penina and all the classic courses down here.
“The game has changed a lot, everyone’s hitting it a lot further but in other ways it’s a game that has stayed similar.
“It has always felt like a friendly Tour, it’s one of the main things about the Tour when I started off. Great camaraderie and everyone’s trying to beat each other, but they only ever want to be one shot ahead. It’s a nice place to work.
“Winning and individual success is brilliant, but it’s the things that don’t cost any money that are the best things – the friendships, the camaraderie.”