It would appear that Rory McIlroy is taking the challenge of Tiger Woods seriously. In recent weeks, Woods has looked like the player of old. He has been winning golf tournaments for fun and has usurped McIlroy as the player at the top of the rankings.
McIlroy has responded to the challenge by making a late entry to the Texas Open.
It was unquestionably the correct decision. One fault that I think consistently lets McIlroy down is the lack of time he spends on the course. Woods at his best was remorseless, hoovering up tournament wins left, right and center, and this is a quality that McIlroy has yet to learn.
His form has showed signs of turning in recent weeks, and he needs to continue this improvement before the Masters. He has proven he has the competitiveness that is needed to win at Augusta when he came so close a couple of years ago before imploding in the final round.
If he gets four more competitive rounds under his belt at Texas, he could go into the Masters with a bit of momentum. He will need it. If Woods turns up in the same imperious form that he has shown in recent weeks, the only player on tour capable of going toe to toe with him is McIlroy.
He will also go into the tournament under less pressure. The number one tag has never seemed to fit him in the same way that it fits Woods and he will go into the tournament slightly under the radar, and definitely nowhere near the favourite to win the competition.
It is unlikely that McIlroy will win the Masters, but he can go some way to showing he is a force to be reckoned with if he shows the desire that made him enter the Texas Open.
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