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McIlroy looks to reclaim top spot

Newly crowned number one Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy exchange texts as Northern Irish golfer prepares for Houston Open.

Last Modified: 26 Mar 2013 17:33
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McIlroy took some time out watching tennis player girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Florida [GALLO/GETTY]

Rory McIlroy sent a text message to Tiger Woods on Tuesday, congratulating him on winning at Bay Hill and taking over the No. 1 world ranking again.

Woods responded by telling McIlroy to get going - he put it a bit more crudely than that - and win this week's Houston Open.

A victory would put McIlroy back at No. 1, a spot he held for 32 weeks before Woods' latest win.

For now, McIlroy is fine with Woods holding the world's top ranking, especially with the Masters coming up in two weeks.

"I didn't think I could go into the Masters under the radar," McIlroy said.

"I can go in a little bit underneath him. So, in a way, it's not a bad thing."

"I can go in a little bit underneath him. So, in a way, it's not a bad thing"

World number two, Rory McIlroy

McIlroy skipped Bay Hill and says he had a "good week, a fun week" in Miami. He watched girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki play in the pro tennis event in Key Biscayne, Florida, then stopped by a municipal course on Saturday night to hit range balls in relative anonymity with Wozniacki and Novak Djokovic, currently the world's No. 1 tennis player.

"People left me alone, it was fine," McIlroy said.

"It's nice to just go, not just go about my business and no one cares, but you go about it and not be, I guess, the most talked about person in golf. It's a nice thing."

McIlroy won four times in 2012, including the PGA Championship that catapulted him to No. 1. He signed a Nike contract in the offseason, but has gotten off to a rough start this year, raising questions about his adjustment to his new equipment.

He missed the cut at Abu Dhabi, lost in the first round of the Match Play Championship and then walked off the course during the second round of the Honda Classic, citing frustration. He finally saw signs of progress when he shot a 65 in the final round at Doral and tied for eighth, and he's confident that he's ready to contend at Redstone this week.

"We're not machines, we're humans," McIlroy said.

"You're going to have patches where you play great and have patches where you struggle a little bit. I guess you've just got to take the rough and the smooth and just try and treat those times, sort of play and be patient and know that you're working on the right things."

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Source:
AP
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