Aussies shoot like masters beckons

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Jason Day refines his short game with Augusta National.

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It's all about systems for the Australian contingent at the Masters this week.

Speaking on Inside The Ropes, Australian journalist Evin Priest said the Aussie quartet had appeared early on Augusta National, in shape, with high expectations and, in Jason Day & # 39; s case, suitable.

Priest said Day, twice a stage finisher and never worse than the 28th in the seven times he had completed the Masters, had left the back injury that bothered him in March.

He said the Queenslander, who arrived last Friday, had already played a few practice rounds and was sharpening his short game with former coach Col Swatton – all with negligible back pain.

"It's not too serious, not like in 2016 when he missed FedEx Cup playoff events … more just wear and tear," Priester said.

"I don't know how much diligence he has spent on his rehabilitation and physical therapy on the west coast (of the United States) in six weeks there (in February and March), so over time he reached the Florida swing with that wear and tear. tear, his back had collapsed a bit.

"But now he is back on track with his withdrawal clinic and his attention to detail with food and soft tissues, so I think it will get a lot better from now on."

Priester said he was impressed by the new working relationship between Day and his old mentor, coach and caddy Col Swatton.

The couple separated ways as a player and caddy in late 2017, but Priester said they still clearly had great dynamics as a player and coach.

"It's fantastic, I think if you are able to step back and see that person alternately every couple of weeks, you will begin to pick up things that you would not have noticed," Priester said.

"In any case, the fact that col has relinquished caddy duties … he defintely sees few nuances in Jason & # 39; s swing and can correct them fairly quickly and he would not necessarily have noticed it when he put a caddy on the PGA was tour.

"There was a bit of pain when they first split … but it worked out best in the long run.` Swatto & # 39; has really embraced the coaching role, never seen anyone so passionate about coaching."

Adam Scott, the Masters Champ 2013, flew from his base in Bahamas last week to scout. He has since played a practice round with his father, Phil, and collaborates with the new caddy John Limanti.

"It was a nice preparation, I had some rest and worked a lot on my game since the players," said Scott.

"I traveled here for a few days last week and it certainly made me enthusiastic for Masters.

"Now we are here and I feel that I could not have done anything more."

Scott has achieved five top five results and another three top 10 & # 39; s with the majors since he broke through in Augusta.

His youngest chance was third place last year in the US PGA Championship in Augusta, when he played with winner Brooks Koepka in the final group and was in the lead in the back-nine.

The Australian world cup duo Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith are not the pickers of the Australians, but Priest says that they both appear in a cutting form.

"They are flushing, Leish has played two nine-hole practice rounds and it looks like he feels at home now," Priest said of the Victorian.

"And Smithy is the same, there is less fear of being here and more attention to what they have to do and just be done, come on Thursday, I would say."

Smith, another Queenslander, was best among the Aussies last year in a tie for fifth place and had a putt on the final hole for birdie, which had earned him a share of the lowest behind nine at Augusta National was included.

Leishman has twice been a top 10 finisher with the Masters, including his ninth last year, and has consistently implemented this PGA Tour season since his victory in Malaysia in October.

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