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Veteran Scot finds new lease of life after going back to his bizarre two-part routine SANDY LYLE hopes a bizarre two-part swing will save him from a double-quick Masters exit.

The Scot who won the Green Jacket in 1988 loves Augusta and wants to stick around for as long as he can.

He admits he would hate to fall victim of the cut for the third year on the spin and has dug deep into his locker to rediscover an old technique which he hopes will guarantee him 72 holes this weekend.

Lyle's game was dogged by pulls and snap hooks and last night he said: "I went back to the two-part swing in a bid to cure my ills.

"I pause at the top of the backswing before striking the ball. It worked really well for me 10 years or so ago so I decided to reintroduce it.

"Last year in The Open and the Open Seniors I was horrendous hitting the ball and did not get any momentum going.

"It was like a survival game where a lot of things were going wrong - I couldn't believe the state I was in.

"I went back to a two-piece drill and it calmed things down. I've been hitting the ball well using the two-piece swing - and it's got to be better than my heart pounding at 200mph on the first tee!" Lyle, 54, comes into his 31st Masters having played just one event, last month's Champions Tour Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach, California, where he finished 70th.

He said: "I always get a buzz driving down Magnolia Lane.

"You never grow tired of that short drive even though at Masters time it takes about 50 minutes to get to the course when it should be 20. This is my 31st year and I'm delighted to be back - I still get goosebumps.

"Even though it's early into my season, I'm playing pretty well. I played well last year when I shot a first-round 73 but I got so many bad breaks on the Friday and my 80 was so much out of character. The goal this weekend is to play all four rounds and I believe I can."

Lyle attended Tuesday night's Champions Dinner where p title-holder Charl Schwartzel hosted a meal of traditional South African meats served with a monkey gland sauce.

Schwartzel said: "There was no monkey and no gland - it's made of chutney, Worcester sauce and onion."

Lyle admitted the first Masters dinner since the death of Seve Ballesteros was emotional.

He said: "Jose Maria Olazabal spoke, it was all very sad and we were thinking Seve."

of Seve.

Olaza has bac to rack victory year at Spani was Olazabal, meanwhile, backed his Big Three up Europe's first in Ryder Cup the Masters. The Spaniard AUGUSTA the last European to win at Augusta back in 1999. But Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood now fill the top three spots in the world rankings after strong starts to the season.

And the European captain, now 46, said: "Europe must have a great chance of winning the Masters for the first time since I did it in 1999.

"The world rankings don't lie and the top three are all coming into the event in fantastic form. If I had a hunch I'd go for Rory or Lee, just because the golf course is soft after the rain.

"It's going to play extremely long and I think that it will heavily favour someone who hits the ball high.

"But I certainly wouldn't discount Luke. I can see some similarities with myself in the way he plays although he is a straighter driver than I ever was.

was with the final despite the damage "His short game is a thing of beauty. You look at his stats from 100 yards - they're off the charts."

Olazabal will return to the United States to face Davis Love's team at the Medinah Country Club in Chicago in September.

He said: "It would be nice to have the Masters champion in your side at the Ryder Cup although we've had major champions before who had bad Ryder Cups.

"What you want most of all are players in the form of their lives going into the match, not in April."

Olazabal's predecessor Colin Montgomerie added: "It's a Major to savour. There will be a massive play-off with six players in it! It will be the greatest Masters ever!" HUNGRY Ian Poulter, however, is hungry for Masters success after losing 10 pounds during a bout of pneumonia.

The US-based Brit, who finished third at Bay Hill in his second comeback event last month, said: "I lost 10 pounds in five days - I have put some back on but not all.

"It is a work in progress and I am eating nicely. I am trying to get as much back on. My voice is still not good.

"I'm a lot better than I was but mentally I am fine.

"I love Augusta. It is about being fresh enough to go and hit all the shots you have planned."

Poulter has made the cut on all seven of his Masters appearances and tied for 10th in 2010 after leading during the third round.

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DRIVING FORCE 3 Vijay Singh, left, checks out Sandy Lyle's driver as they walk down the 10th fairway at Augusta
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 5, 2012
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