World No. 4 Luke Donald says he’s focusing on – what else at Augusta – his work with the putter.
“What’s held me back a little bit this year has been the ability to get the ball in the hole on the greens,” said Donald, who has finished among the top 10 in three of his nine Masters. “I’ve been working hard on that the last couple weeks working on speed, little adjustments in setup, but I think that’s a big focus for this week.”
Work beside the green also has been a priority.
“I think the grass around this green is quite sticky; it’s shortish but it’s still tricky to chip off and you need very good technique to be able to do that to be able to create the right strike and the right contact,” he said.
Donald feels Augusta National offers him the best chance to win a major, thanks to his short-game prowess and his ability to analyze the course.
“I’m very much a golfer that likes to prepare and work on specifics for specific courses,” he said. “. . . It’s not just about reading these greens; it’s kind of a feel thing. I feel like generally I’m pretty good at that.”
It’s also about knowing when to pull the trigger, and that the rules for doing so are a little different in Augusta.
“I don’t think specific holes are ones that you can attack. I think specific pin locations you can attack, which is a little bit different than most courses,” he said. “So even the easy holes can get you here, though, too, so you have to be very careful. Certainly you have a strategy for most holes. The first you’re just trying to hit the middle of the green and not at the pin and it goes on and on for 18 holes – and that’s what makes this course special.”
He noted a change at the 14th green as something worth keeping an eye on.
“The back of the green is raised up a little bit which will collect the ball and bring it back to some of the pin locations,” he said, “which will make it exciting for the fans and people watching on TV.”