Sunday 25 February 2018

McDowell won't be mastered just yet

Graeme McDowell insisted he would never consider not playing the Masters despite another frustrating experience at Augusta National.

McDowell carded a final round of 73 yesterday to finish six over par and is now a combined 24 over for his eight appearances in the year's first major championship.

"I can't imagine not coming here," the former US Open champion said.

"It would be sacrilege not to play here no matter how much it frustrates you as you have to enjoy it for what it is.

"It is a celebration of golf on my favourite golf course in the world. It is. I love it. But it's unrequited.

"Once I feel like I have got one up on this course it takes two back.

"I walk away still disappointed a little that I can't score as well as I feel I should round this course. I threw away shots like confetti all week.

"I think it's a puzzle you can solve. I realised my style of putting is not suited to Augusta. I'm going to have to work on a type of speed putting that's going to be suitable.

"You have to be a 'front-edge' putter like Bubba (Watson), I've never seen anyone roll in putts from six feet slower than Bubba. You have to drop them in and I have to adapt to do that round here."

McDowell's score could have been even worse after he was initially given a one-shot penalty for moving his marker as he attempted to swat a bee away from his ball on the third green.

However, European Tour chief referee John Paramor rescinded the penalty a few holes later and McDowell added: "I said could he follow me the rest of the day because he was the first guy who has saved me a shot in a while."

Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson put what he learned from Tiger Woods into practice to card a closing round of 67.

Donaldson was paired with Woods on the first two days at Augusta National but saved his best till last on Sunday, carding three bogeys and eight birdies - including five in the last six holes - to get back to level par for the tournament.

"Watching Tiger play for the first two days you can see he is hitting shots that if they don't come off, you are missing it in the right place," Donaldson said after his first sub-70 round on his third Masters appearance.

"You are not just playing with the best golfer but one of the greatest athletes of all time. It can only be a great honour. I enjoyed it.

"Coming to the Masters having just missed two cuts in a row it's probably not the ideal draw, but it was actually very exciting to play with him. You would have liked to have more form coming in, but you have to take the rough with the smooth. We got on very well and he's a very nice fella."

Speaking about his round, Donaldson added: "I just found my putting a bit today. Yesterday was not great. It's one of those courses where I did not hit a bad shot in four holes and was two over par.

"I was trying a few things with my putting and found something today after not holing any putts for the last few tournaments."

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