Luke Donald has revealed how he plans to change his approach to major championships on the eve of next week’s Masters.
Despite never crossing the winning line in one of the big four, the former World No.1 believes major glory will come to him if he treats it like a regular tournament
“I think it goes back to thinking that I need to do more than I actually need to,” says the 35-year-old Englishman.
“I’ve been able to win tournaments without playing my best golf, and I think majors are a similar deal. You can put too much pressure on yourself and then you go out there and press a little bit too hard.
“Suddenly you’re a few shots back and trying to play catch up. Obviously, knowing that just playing my game is good enough is a good thought to have for me.”
Donald recalls he was the top player in the world during last year’s Masters and felt a little exposed with attention on him to perform.
Rounds of 75, 73 and 75 on the first three days wasn’t what he wanted and he entered the final round tied for 52nd place and in the fifth group of the day, trailing 54-hole leader Peter Hanson by 16 shots.
“It’s not a nice feeling waking up knowing whatever you shoot is probably not going to be good enough,” he told the Augusta Chronicle.
However, he was at least pleased to finish strongly and moved up 20 spots after his final-round 68, which matched his career low at Augusta National.
“There were good memories to try and think of, rather than some of the golf that was a little bit – it wasn’t tidy enough the first three days.”
Donald believes the two-tier par-3 sixth hole epitomises the problems that Augusta National presents.
“The green is so severe. You can hit a great shot and just go over the green and have a tough chip, and suddenly you catch it a little bit too much and the chip goes back to the front of the green and you make a five after hitting what looked like a great shot in the air. There are some fine lines on some of these major courses.”
Donald has 12 career victories worldwide (seven on the European Tour and five on the PGA Tour) and wants to build on that but, surprisingly not necessarily get back to No. 1 in the world.
“I’ve already proved to myself that I’ve been good enough to be No. 1, and it’s something I don’t think about so much.
“Now, I’m really concentrating on trying to win tournaments, trying to win majors, and the world ranking kind of takes care of itself. It’s just a by-product of playing good.”
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