World No 5 Graeme McDowell insists he’s not in the least but fazed by being drawn with fallen idol Tiger Woods for the first two rounds at Augusta.
The reigning US Open champion was beaten by three shots by four time Masters champion Woods when they were paired together in the third round two years ago.
But the hunter has since become the hunted with McDowell following his US Open victory with a crushing play-off win over Woods in last December’s Chevron World Challenge.
Looking forward to the “buzz”, McDowell said: “I’ve played with him enough to where it doesn’t really faze me any more. I’ll look forward to it just the same way as I always would be if I was playing with anyone else.
“We played in the third round here in 2009 and I think he beat me by one that day. But we’re different people now, both of us.”
While Woods has slipped from world No 1 to No 7 and failed to win for 17 months, McDowell has since won the US Open and become a world star.
A match-winning hero for Europe in last year’s Ryder Cup, McDowell said: “He’s gone through some life-changing experiences the last couple of years and so have I. It’s great, he’s a lot of fun to play with.
“He’s probably the greatest player that’s ever lived and playing with him in the first couple of rounds at the Masters is a great experience. But I’ve got to go and control my own golf ball on Thursday and Friday and let him play his.”
Woods had never lost a four-stroke final round lead until he came up against McDowell in last year’s Chevron World Challenge in Los Angeles.
The Ulsterman holed a 25 footer on the 18th to shoot 69 to Woods’ 73 and force a play-off - forcing Tiger’s bagman Stevie Williams to put back on his caddie bib.
McDowell went on win for the fourth time in a dream season, winning the title thanks to another monster birdie putt at the first extra hole.
Believing that Woods brings out the best in him, McDowell said: “You want to play with the best players in the best events. Of course, playing with Tiger really gets you focussed. It gets you excited.
“He’s definitely the kind of guy you want to get used to playing with because, typically, if you are playing with him on a Sunday afternoon you’ve got a great chance to win.
“It’s great, I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great draw and I know Robert (Allenby) very well as well.”