Monday, 4 April 2011

Today Sport's : Golf News/"New putter could make the difference"

After falling short at Augusta National in 2010, can Lee Westwood triumph at this year's Masters?

The 37-year-old showed his class last year with a 13 under par total of 275, and was unfortunate not to come up tops because of a brilliant showing by Phil Mickelson, who carded at 16-under 272, the best score by a Masters champion since Tiger Woods in 2001.

However, Westwood believes that the experience could push him across the finish line at Augusta this year.

"There is no doubt that the experience I had there last year will stand me in good stead this time," said Westwood, speaking to

"I enjoy Augusta and I always feel like I can do well there. I've been knocking on the door in the Majors for a few years now so hopefully it will open for me soon.

"It would mean a great deal for me to have the Green Jacket draped over my shoulders on Sunday night.

"It would show that all the sacrifices I have made and all the hard work I have put in over the years were worthwhile."

The world number two believes that preparation is everything, admitting he was not particularly happy with his old putter, and will unleash a new one at Augusta.

"I've been toying around with a new putter which I'll use this week in Houston," he said.

"I haven't been particularly happy over the first couple of months of the season with the old one. This one is a bit easier to line up.

"I generally keep the same stuff in, then decide last minute whether it's a two iron or a five wood."

Westwood also gave an insight towards what clubs he would use to tackle the tricky greens at Augusta.

"Augusta is generally a five wood though because you need to fly the ball in high. I've been doing a little bit of work with different bounces on sand irons too.

"It's nice to take a bit of the bounce off the lob wedge at Augusta with the lies you get there and the firmness of the sand in the traps. It's nice to get under the ball a little bit."

However, the key question is- can he beat defending champion Mickleson?

The American looks like the man to beat after he recorded yet another victory at the Shell Houston Open last weekend, finishing the event in style with a closing 65 on the last day.

Westwood will certainly hope that his new putter can make the difference if he is to wrest the crown from Mickleson's hands this year!
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