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'Short, long, wide, whatever': McIlroy just needs more golf

The world number two is looking forward to some healthy competition in San Antonio.

Image: GETTY.

WORLD NUMBER TWO Rory McIlroy will be the star attraction at this week’s Texas Open in San Antonio.

With The Masters teeing off in eight day’s time, contenders for the green jacket usually rest the week before but the Northern Irishman is bucking the trend to get in form before an assault on the first major of the season.

The two-time major champion struggled to make the cut at the Houston Open last week, eventually finishing in a tie for 45th, 12 shots behind winner D.A. Points.

“I need competitive golf and I need committing to targets, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a short course or long course or wide course or whatever,” McIlroy said.

“I think just four more competitive rounds (at the Texas Open) will do me do me a world of good next week. As long as I have that and I have a scorecard in my hand, that’s what I need.”

Weak defence?

Last year’s winner Ben Curtis will be defending his title, but the American has missed the cut in every event he has played in this year, including in Houston last week.

Four of the world’s top 15 players will compete at the JW Marriot course – McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

The field will contain previous winners Justin Leonard (2000, 2001, 2007), Brendan Steele (2011) and Tim Herron (1997) while also showcasing 12 major winners.

There are significant changes to the Greg Norman-designed course from last year’s version with a few widened fairways, shorter rough, four retooled greens and more cleared-out native areas.

One controversial alteration that angered Norman is the thickening of the turf on downhill slopes near some putting surfaces, which is designed to stop wayward approach shots rolling further away from the green.

“This golf course was designed a certain way, and now it’s got some inconsistencies in that look and inconsistencies in the playability of the golf course,” Norman said.

“Why they did that, I have no idea.”

However, 2010 PGA Player of the Year Jim Furyk believes there will still be plenty of challenges to navigate.

“I’ve heard that there are some severe green complexes where you could actually putt the ball off the greens in spots,” Furyk said.

“You’ll risk having a hard time not only getting it close, but it’s not out of the question that you could chip it off the green on the other side.”

The winner of the Texas Open will be given a starting berth at Augusta, if they have not already qualified.

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