"Over the last couple of years, his performance has gotten stronger and stronger," Nick Faldo said of Donald. "Now he's climbed to No. 1, and he's looking at the next rung on the ladder, which is being a major champion."
The last year should serve Donald well, not just because he has won five times in the last 14 months, but because he realized he only played truly great golf in one of those wins — the Match Play Championship a year ago.
"I've been able to win tournaments without playing my best golf, and I think majors are a similar deal," Donald said. "I think a lot of people put too much pressure on yourself, and you go out there and you press a little bit too hard, and suddenly you're a few shots back and trying to play catch up.
"Know that just playing my game is good enough is a good thought to have for me."
Memories from last year won't hurt. Donald was in the thick of contention until he pushed his 8-iron ever so slightly on the wrong hole — the par-3 12th — and it went in the water for double bogey. He rallied strong, though, chipped in for birdie on the 18th for a 69 and wound up in a tie for fourth. He knows his game will work here.
Ditto for Westwood, who did little wrong with a one-shot lead going into the final round at Augusta in 2010. Trouble was, Mickelson did everything right, including that sensational shot through the trees on the 13th.
"It's quite frustrating at a time when you keep coming close," Westwood said.
It can make for a frustrating four weeks out of the year — unless, or until they win.
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