Donald targets putting improvement

4/9/2013 5:53:17 PM
Luke Donald is looking forward to returning to "one of the most exciting events of the year".  (EuropeanTour)
Luke Donald is looking forward to returning to "one of the most exciting events of the year". (EuropeanTour)

Luke Donald has pinpointed an improvement in putting as key to his hopes of claiming a first Major Championship at this week's Masters Tournament.

Donald, the World Number Four, admits to a sense of frustration when it comes to his recent form.

However, he takes heart from his most recent outing - which yielded a fourth place finish in Tampa Bay last month - and believes he is capable of contending at Augusta National should a few more putts start to drop.

"In Tampa I played very well," said Donald.

"Tee to green I played easily well enough to win. What's held me back a little bit this year has been the ability to get the ball in the hole on the greens.

"I've been working hard on that the last couple of weeks, working on speed and little adjustments in set-up, but I think that's a big focus for this week.

"If I can get the ball rolling into the hole and see the ball going in a little bit more then that's usually an indication I'm going to have a good week.

"I know I have good fundamentals, good technique. It's just about seeing a few go in and building that confidence. I feel pretty good about my overall game."

As a player renowned for boasting such a strong temperament, it is no surprise that Donald has been able to retain a balanced mindset during his dip in form.

He is determined to remain patient as he seeks a return to the level of performance that saw him top both the European Tour and PGA Tour money lists in 2011.

"My results haven't been what I wanted (this year), but as someone who had such a great 2011 and a pretty good 2012, I know the ability is there," said the Englishman.

"It's just (a case of) being patient, waiting for my turn to come.

"It's frustrating sometimes, but when you have that background of good results in the past, that you know good things are going to happen, you just keep working hard and play through some of those tough times and it will turn around.

"It's not something I'm too worried about right now. Technically I think I'm doing the right things. I just think this game, that happens. You have ups and downs sometimes.

"I haven't had too many downs in my career, especially over the last few years, and that's unusual, so I think it's just getting that mental vibe, seeing the ball going in, and building confidence from that."

A reduction in expectation levels - compared to his time as World Number One - could also assist Donald this week.

"There's certainly a lot less demands (on my time), a lot more going under the radar and less expectation, probably a lot less expectation from myself," he acknowledged.

"That can only be a good thing. It's one less thing to think about."