Thus far, that potential is still in its infancy stage. Howell has yet to win on tour, but returns this week to the site of his nearest miss.
Howell lost last years Greater Milwaukee Open in a playoff to Shigeki Maruyama. Japans smiling assassin sank a 4 -foot birdie putt on the first extra hole at Brown Deer Park.
Maruyama became the first Japanese player to win on the mainland. He joined Isao Aoki, who won the 1983 Hawaiian Open when he holed a fairway shot for eagle on the final hole, as the only representatives from their country to win on the PGA Tour.
Maruyama, 32, earned his second title this season at the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic.
Howell is still in search of that elusive first victory. He started the season strong; earning three top-six finishes in his first five starts. However, he has yet to record a top-10 since the Bob Hope in February.
This is the final Stateside tournament before the British Open in Muirfield. Most the top-ranked players are either taking the week off or competing in the European Tours Scottish Open. The Milwaukee field includes Mark Calcavecchia, Joe Durant, two-time champion Scott Hoch and Bryce Molder.
This is the 35th playing of the event, where Woods made his professional debut in 1996. The tournament record is 24-under-par 260, set by Loren Roberts in 2000. Steve Lowery holds the current course record, shooting 10-under 61 in 1999.
This years purse is $3.1 million, with $558,000 going to the winner.
Full field and tee times for the Greater Milwaukee Open