Wycombe star set for tenth Masters

Bucks Free Press: Masters craftsman Luke Donald Masters craftsman Luke Donald

LUKE Donald will try to improve on his three top ten finishes in nine starts at The Masters this week, when he will again set off in pursuit of that elusive major.

The Wycombe golf star finished third on his debut in 2005 thanks to a blistering back nine of 32 on Sunday, and he added another top ten placing two years later.

His best chance of winning the Green Jacket came in 2011, when he challenged all day before coming home fourth in the end.

Recent finishes of 32 and 25 haven’t been as encouraging and he'll tee off as a 50-1 outsider tomorrow, but he’s still working through changes to his swing and he believes once they’re grooved he’ll be more competitive in the majors.

He said: “It was all to do with the majors. If can just be a little bit more consistent tee-to-green and my short-game is at its sharpest then it should be good enough. I’m certainly not lacking in motivation.”

Donald has only missed the cut twice around the famous course and the former world number one could be one of those ready to benefit from the withdrawal through injury of Tiger Woods.

He said: “I’ve had my chances at the Masters. In 2007, I eagled the eighth in my final round to get within one of the lead – what I would have given for my 2005 finish that year – and then in 2011 I finished fourth and was in it all the way down the stretch.

“But 2005 gave me the belief that I could win around Augusta, despite my lack of length.

“I still have that conviction. There’s always been this conception that only big-hitters can win around there and granted the last four or five champions have been won by guys who can put it out there.

“But Mike Weir and Zach Johnson are two players who don’t hit that it that far who have green jackets.”

Luke Donald has been grouped with Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson and tees off at 6.15pm tomorrow and 2.57pm on Friday.

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