Kaymer left disadvantaged

World No.1 Martin Kaymer of Germany
World No.1 Martin Kaymer of Germany
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World No.1 Martin Kaymer wishes he was left-handed like Phil Mickelson this week - but his favourite for the Masters is Luke Donald.

It was Donald, of course, who beat the German in the final of the World Match Play in Arizona in February.

The German said today: “His short game is unbelievable.

“Obviously he’s not the longest, but he’s very straight, so I think he has the best chances.

“I asked him how he became so good in short game, but he didn’t answer. He said ‘I don’t know’.”

Kaymer has missed the halfway cut in each of the three Masters he has played and in a bid to change that has been trying to draw the ball more.

Three-time winner and defending champion Mickelson, of course, is able to go with a fade.

“My normal shape is left-to-right,” commented Kaymer.

“If I could play the other way around I can fade it all day.

“Mickelson can and that helps – obviously the draw is more difficult than the fade.”

Mickelson was asked about Kaymer’s desire to change and, fully aware which of them is the current top-ranked player in the world, replied: “I would love Martin to play this tournament left-handed.”

Kaymer’s stated goal is to survive to the weekend and, although other players such as Ernie Els have questioned the need for the winner of golf’s last major to alter the way he plays, he aid: “I needed to change something.

“I’ve also prepared a little different than the last two years. I took two weeks off.

“You can play well if you hit the ball straight. You don’t need to draw the ball, but I think my problem was always that I was not sharp enough in my short game.”

On the fact that he still has the world No.1 spot coming into the event – Lee Westwood missed the chance to regain it last week – he added: “I wouldn’t say it’s important, but it’s a great feeling.

“After the World Golf Championships in Arizona when I became No.1, I thought it would be quite nice to tee it up in Augusta in that spot.”

n Graeme McDowell, the conqueror of Tiger Woods in a play-off in December, will face him again in the first two rounds of The Masters today and tomorrow.

McDowell, the US Open champion, tees off with Woods and Australian Robert Allenby at 10.41am in the first round and in the penultimate group at 1.48pm in the second round.

Woods is without a victory since November 2009, but at the Target World Challenge he led by four with a round to go before being caught and beaten by the Northern Irishman.

McDowell now goes into the opening major of the season as the world No.5.