Putter holds the key
ANDREW Dodt will look for his fickle putter to provide him with some early Christmas cheer as he aims to finish his year on a high note in this weekend's JBWere Masters in Melbourne.
The Gatton golfer will begin his tilt at the $1 million Masters this morning at the Victoria Golf Club.
Dodt hits off at 7.16am (Qld time) alongside this year's City Golf Club Queensland PGA winner Gareth Paddison and Terry Pilkadaris.
The group is part of a star-studded field headed by England's Luke Donald who this week sealed first place on both the European and PGA Tour money-winning list.
Dodt has experienced a disappointing 2011 on the Europe and Asia circuit but is convinced his game remains in solid shape.
At recent appearances he finished tied for 36th on one-under-par in the Australian PGA at Coolum, before missing the cut at last week's Hong Kong Open.
"I've been happy enough with my form for most of the year, but it's a matter of not being able to get putts dropping for me," Dodt said.
"Everyone hits the ball well at this level.
"The difference between finishing around the par mark and being in the leading division comes down to having your blade working for you.
"It's not a stroke issue for me, but more a mental issue.
"My Coolum result was disappointing. I hit the ball close enough (to the pin) but just couldn't hole the putts."
Dodt said the Victoria club layout should lend itself to an open tournament.
"It's a bit of a hidden gem, I feel, and as a course it's probably underrated," he said.
"It's not that long, but it tests every part of your game.
"That should bring a lot of players into contention - not just the long hitters.
"It's been a long year for everyone but I'm feeling quite fresh really.
"And although I'm looking forward to starting a new year from January 1, I'm keen to finish well this week."
Dodt said the depth of the Masters field made it difficult to nominate the toughest player to beat.
"I'd like to think it's going to be Andrew Dodt."
It's not that long, but it tests every part of your game.