Updated: Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:31 | By Agence France-Presse

Dubuisson settles on top caddie for Masters

Victor Dubuisson, who will become just the ninth French golfer to compete in the Masters at Augusta National this week, has chosen experienced English caddie Mick Doran to help chart his way around the famed course.


Dubuisson settles on top caddie for Masters

French golf player Victor Dubuisson talks with his caddie during a practice round for the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Augusta, Georgia, on April 8, 2014 - by Emmanuel Dunand

Having separated from regular Argentine caddie Sergio Palma after a disappointing 62nd-place finish at Doral last month, the expectations had been that the rising 23-year-old from Cannes would link up with Ernie Els' old bagman, Ricci Roberts.

But instead, he has opted for Doran, who has worked previously with the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Trevor Immelman, who won the Masters in 2008.

In all, Doran has caddied at 10 Masters and has been involved in several Ryder Cup campaigns.

World number 21 Dubuisson, who clinched his spot in the Masters with a runner-up finish at to Justin Day at the WGC Match Play tournament in February, had never played Augusta National before arriving in Georgia and inside knowledge of the course is considered essential to having some success in the first of the year's majors.

"Victor has the good fortune of having at his disposal a very good caddie who knows the course inside out, having caddied there a hundred or so times," said Thomas Levet, whose 13th place in 2005 is the best-ever showing by a Frenchman at the Masters.

"Mick Doran knows the course perfectly well," said the player's coach, Benoit Ducoulombier. "That will reassure him somewhat."

Dubuisson, who is now based in Andorra, arrived at Augusta on Sunday but was unable to get acquainted with the course on Monday due to the bad weather that forced the cancellation of practice in mid-morning.

On Tuesday, with the better weather, he played the back nine in the afternoon and looked at the front nine Wednesday morning before playing in the annual Par-3 Contest.

Dubuisson has enjoyed a rapid rise up the world rankings in the last 12 months, lifting his maiden European Tour title at the Turkish Airlines event late last year before finishing third the following week in the DP Tour Championship in Dubai.

But it was at the Match Play event in Arizona that he really caught the eye with a spectacular performance in the final against Day, where he pulled off three consecutive "miracle" up-and-down saves from desert scrub and cactus plants to force extra holes.

He eventually lost at the fifth extra hole, but he had done enough to ensure member status on the PGA Tour for the rest of the year and almost certainly seal his place in the European Ryder Cup team for the matches against the United States in Scotland in September.

His magical shot-making also made him an instant worldwide hit on YouTube.

This week's Masters will be Dubuisson's second major, having missed the cut as an amateur at the 2010 British Open at St Andrews.

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