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David Toms switches focus to majors

After making a fast start to the season for the second year in a row, David Toms is determined to maintain his form for the major championships from April to August.

Twelve months ago, American Toms tied for fifth at the Honda Classic before losing momentum in the build-up to the U.S. Masters, the first major of the year.

He missed the cut at Augusta National that April, shared 15th place in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June and was disqualified from the British Open at St Andrews the following month after owning up to a rules infringement.

"It's been a good year for me and I've played well so far," Toms told reporters on Wednesday as he prepared for this week's Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

"I did the same thing last year and then kind of levelled off there for a while during the summer which I'm going to try not to do this year.

"I want to keep up that level of play and see if I can do it for the whole year."

The world number eight, the highest-ranked player in this week's field at The Country Club at Mirasol, has produced three top-10 finishes in his first five PGA Tour starts of the year.

He won the Sony Open in Hawaii in January and tied for second at the Doral Championship in Miami on Sunday.

His worst result was 19th place at last month's Phoenix Open, where he moved into contention with scores of 68, 66 and 66 before falling back with a final-round 75.

"My biggest disappointment was not playing well the last day at Phoenix with a chance to win there," Toms said. "I didn't perform very well. Other than that, it's gone extremely well this year.

"I lost in the Match Play to Tom Lehman, but he was playing well at the time, and I didn't have my best day," added the 39-year-old from Louisiana, referring to his third-round defeat in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa.

"It's been a good year, I'm off to a good start."

Toms said he had come to terms with his runner-up finish behind Tiger Woods on Sunday, when a three-putt bogey at the last left him a stroke short of forcing a playoff for the title.

"I made the comment after the round that I lost that golf tournament on Saturday, not on the last hole on Sunday, because I didn't play great on Saturday," he said.

"I didn't shoot in the 60s, and ultimately, that was the round that cost me the golf tournament, I think."

Toms returned a 70 in the third round at Doral's Blue Monster course before closing with a six-birdie 67.

"I was always still coming from behind, coming from behind," he added. "It just wasn't that big of a deal. I was upset with myself but I wasn't upset with the way I played."

The Honda Classic starts on Thursday.

March 9, 2006


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