April 8th, 2015
This is the second time I play The Masters, but it still is just as good as at my debut last year. The atmosphere at Augusta National is fantastic and the course looks great as always. The last couple of days I had some good practice. Missing the cut in Houston last week was disappointing, but every disadvantage has it's advantage (as a famous Dutch soccer player used to say;-). Because of the missed cut I could fly to Augusta on Saturday and had all the time to prepare for the tournament. My game is good from tee to green, but my putting stayed a little bit behind. During my nine hole practice round with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka on Wednesday, I missed a lot of putts on the right side of the hole. I knew what I was doing wrong, but couldn't manage to change my mistake.
'During my practice round I played with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka'
After the round I went straight to the putting green with my caddie Janni Basson and my putting coach Rob Mouwen. We've worked half an hour on my putting and after that I didn't push the putts to the right anymore. Later that day I even holed a couple of nice putts during the par-3 contest. I know there is no pressure on a little competition like that, but I could feel my putting was much better already.
Last year I finished 26th here and the press always asks me what this years goal is. As always, it starts with making the cut. When you're there for the weekend, crazy things can always happen. Especially here at Augusta National. I'm aiming for a top-15 finish. That would be good. But if things go my way, I might just putt on that green jacket on sunday. You never know! What I do know is that I will enjoy these Masters very much. Off course performing well is my main objective, but as a professional golfer you should always try to enjoy a great tournament like this.
When I'm on the first tee on Thursday and look down the valley at the crowds and the greens of hole two and hole nine I know I will be thinking: This is The Masters, it doesn't get any better than this.