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MORESPORTS

Love finds the solution is to turn the brain off

By Simon Evans

ORLANDO (Reuters) - After 20 wins in over two decades on the PGA Tour, Davis Love III should not need any advice about his game but a quiet word in his ear has helped him rediscover his form.

Love has a share of the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with fellow American J.B Holmes, a situation that marks a turnaround for the 45-year-old.

Love was endlessly practicing his putting after his round at the Honda Classic on Sunday when he was given a sharp reminder.

"I realized that I was working too hard. I needed a break. I took some time off and came back with a fresher attitude that I'm going to play and quit trying so hard."

Like several tour professionals, Love uses sports psychologist Bob Rotella, who told the 1997 PGA Championship winner to: "Just get away. Just turn it off for a while".

For Love that meant learning to just let go of his game and not worry endlessly about his shortcomings.

"At (the SBS Championship in) Hawaii, I didn't make anything from five feet to 15 feet. So I ... analyzed why I didn't win, and went to work on it.

"Then you start missing the ones inside of five feet, because you're working on your stroke to fix the 10-footers and then you start working on your swing to hit it closer.

"It's just the same ball of wax we always get into.

"It's hard to do what the sports psychologists do and turn your brain off."

Love said he found himself bringing his problems home from the golf course.

"When you're going good, you just go home and figure out what you are going to eat and what you're going to watch on TV.

"But when you miss a couple of cuts in a row or you get into a bad streak you start saying, I've got to fix it.

"The biggest fix for me was to get away from the golf course and then come back and start over -- do the things that I know how to do".

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)