McDowell recognises his weaknesses

Graeme McDowell knows that he has work to do on his game if he is to become a Masters champion some day. Picture www.golffile.ieGraeme McDowell showed his mental strength at Augusta on Friday when he faced up to the harsh truths about his shortcomings as a playe and vowed to do soemthing about them.

The Ulsterman bounced back from his opening 75 with a level par 72 despite two closing bogeys to finish nine shots behind clubhouse leader Lee Westwood on three over.

But he knows that he must be rebuild his game or at least, rebuild his mental approach, if he is to have the power and the touch to compete with pal Rory McIlroy for a green jacket some day.

Confessing he has major weaknesses at Augusta, McDowell said: “I do want to win a green jacket but I don’t have an Augusta-type game right now.

“Rory is probably the polar opposite to me.  If I dislike this golf course, he absolutely loves it because he hits that high bombing draw 320 yards off the tee.

“I’d need to draw the golf ball a little bit better than I’m doing now. I’ve worked so hard to eliminate the left side of the golf course  but it doesn’t work well around here.  

“There’s too many tee shots here that set up for the right‑to‑left, and I’ve got to move it another 20 yards off the tee

“Yes, it’s doable. But I’ve got some work to do.”

McDowell confessed that he’s not good enough out of bunkers or around the greens to be considered a potential Masters winner.

The 2010 US Open champions said: “I’ll stand here right now and say that my chipping and bunker play are an absolute weakness. I know they are a weakness and I’m working very hard on them at the minute. The two areas I have to improve are the short game and my driving of the ball. But I think I’ve got the rest.”

Three over starting the day, McDowell parred his first 11 holes in chilly morning temperatures before getting hot.

He birdied the 12th after a brilliant nine iron to three feet and then just missed an eagle chance at the 13th after a sensational three iron to 15 feet.

But just when he felt he had a chance of getting back into the tournament mix, his weaknesses were exposed and Augusta jumped up and bit him.

He failed to birdie the par-five 15th, missed a short birdie chance on the 16th and then closed with a pair of bogeys after poor tee shots.

Dead in the bunker at the 17th, he failed to get up and down from 10 feet.

Then he hit a poor drive into the right trees at the 18th and after laying up, saw his 96 yard third land beyond the pin and spin back off the front of the green.

With all those within 10 shots of the lead making the cut, McDowell said: “It was nice to get that up and down for bogey and give myself a shot at the weekend.

“I could do with a couple more rounds under my belt on this golf course.  I’ve missed the cut too many times here.

“I’ll treat this weekend as an education for me, as well as to Augusta on the weekend and where my game needs to be coming in here next year.”