Augusta - World number one Jason Day has decided the best way for him to win the Masters is to stop trying so hard to win the Masters.
The 28-year-old Australian, a winner in six of his past 13 events as he prepares for Thursday's start of the 80th Masters, won his first major title at last year's PGA Championship and has 10 top-10 finishes in 21 major appearances.
But his boyhood dream was winning the Masters and his exuberance at the chance of making the fantasy real has pushed Day to push himself too hard at Augusta National.
"This has been a tournament in the past that I've tried too hard and shot myself out of the tournament," Day said.
"So I've just got to kind of relax, understand that I have a certain process that I go through each tournament to get ready to compete and I need to stick to that -- don't do anything more, don't do anything less and just try and go out and execute."
Day shared second in his 2011 Masters debut and finished third in 2013, but fell to a share of 20th in 2014 and shared 28th last year.
"The first few years, I just enjoyed myself. I had a lot of fun here," Day said. "And then as time went on, everyone would keep on asking me about, 'When are you going to win it?' and 'How are you going to win it?' and all that stuff.
"I guess I just thought, 'I've got to kind of force it this year,' and that's when I started missing stuff and making mistakes and mental errors. I kind of shot myself out of tournaments.
"So this year, I'm not going to say it's going to be different I'm just going to go through my normal game plan and just play, try and play the way I have been and hopefully I'll give it a good run at the end of the week."
Day's best has been great lately. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and World Golf Championships Match Play Championship last month to move atop the rankings.
But with a green jacket on the line, Day finds himself overthinking his routine.
"I guess it's just maybe looking too much into a shot, overplaying a shot or making things too complicated where they should be simple, and just trying way too hard," Day said. "I know that if I'm reading a putt, usually I don't read it from all angles. It's weird. It's more me mentally trying too hard, trying to force and will it in, where it's just, 'OK, I need to relax.'
"I know there are certain steps I need to take to read putts or get information or how to execute a golf shot. I've just got to go through that normal pattern and try and do it that way rather than missing a step or trying mentally too hard."- Day won't overdo practice -
Day, who says the bulged back disc that flared up at the WGC event is fine, has played 36 holes over four days at Augusta National ahead of the Masters, but will play only the Par-3 Contest on the eve of the tournament.
"It's very easy to get here and practice too much, because it's just an amazing facility to practice on, so I just want to make sure I don't overdo it," Day said.
Day will also try to calm his instincts on the course if he is in the title hunt on Sunday.
"It's very difficult to kind of stay in your own world, but there's no other way to go about it," Day said. "It's easy to get caught up in it. Early in my career, I couldn't really handle that, especially in 2013 when I kind of gassed it coming in and didn't play that well. I had the opportunity to win.
"But now, with what I've done the last year and a half, I feel like I'm preparing myself for a good Sunday here and a good final nine."