Marc Leishman feels a huge difference being at the Masters this time around.
Twelve months ago the burly Victorian took Augusta National patrons by surprise with an opening round 66 to share the lead and then, even more impressively, held firm to finish in a tie for fourth.
In his previous trip to Augusta in 2010 he was chewed up and spat out, shooting 72-79 to miss the cut.
Having tamed the beast in 2012, his confidence now is much higher ahead of Thursday’s first round.
“You walk in last year and at my first Masters a little bit intimidated but this year I walked in with my chest out a little bit more, knowing it’s do-able to have a high finish if you play well,” Leishman said.
“Obviously you’ve got to play well, like any tournament, but I walk in here feeling really good and excited about what might come of it.
“It’s good to know I could handle the pressure.”
The world No.69 would love to match his opening round heroics again this year but knows patience is a virtue he must balance with his gung ho aggressive play.
“I can’t expect to come out here and do the same thing again. It’s not that easy,” he said.
“It’s a long tournament. If you can get to 10-under-par you’re going to have a good chance.
“There’s a lot of birdie holes, but you’re going to make bogeys out here.
“You’ve got to understand that and just hope you can hole the birdie putts when you get a chance.”
Leishman played the final round last year with winner Adam Scott and sees it as a serious bonus, understanding it didn’t take perfect golf to win but opportunities must be seized.
“I feel like even if I’d shot a higher round last year, I’m better for seeing how Scotty did it and how he handled himself, Leishman said.
“He’d been there before and you could tell that.
“I felt a lot more comfortable than I thought I would, but I feel like if I get in that situation again this year, I’ll be a lot better for it and be able to handle myself better again.”