2013 Shell Houston Open Preview: Leaderboard
RORY MCILROY can reclaim his world number one golf ranking this weekend with a win at the 2013 Shell Houston Open.
After all the hoo-ha surrounding Tiger Woods claiming the top spot in Florida on Monday, the revival could be very short lived.
Of course, if there was now an ongoing see-sawing battle between the pair for golfing supremacy it would spark lots of interest in golf fans, and the wider public for that matter. It would also be one particular sponsor’s dream come true.
Support for McIlroy winning this week at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas, came from a perhaps unlikely source.
After Woods two stroke victory at the rain-delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational this week, McIlroy sent him a simple “Well Done” congratulatory text.
Woods reportedly responded with a graphic text for the 23 year old to “get your finger out of your arse” and win in Houston.
With his equipment change and swing issues, McIlroy hasn’t had the best of years so far, culminating in walking off the course at the Honda Classic earlier this month supposedly with a toothache.
His last competition round however was a 65 and he decided to sit out Bay Hill to further work on his game.
“It really doesn’t bother me,’’ the Northern Irishman said this week after slipping to world no.2. “I want to get back to getting into contention in tournaments and trying to win. I think this is a good week to try and get into contention – you have a chance with the Masters coming up.’’
The Redstone course has been set up this week as much as possible to emulate Augusta National, where the 2013 Masters gets underway the second week in April.
Woods isn’t playing this week but other contenders include Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, defending champion Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Keegan Bradley.
Ogilvy needs strong result
Australia has 12 entrants in the field, with much interest in the fate of Geoff Ogilvy, currently sitting precariously at world number 50.
That’s the cut-off point for entry to the Masters and Ogilvy – who missed the cut at Bay Hill – needs to retain that ranking or better it if he wants to ensure he won’t miss his first Masters in eight years.
Ogilvy will play the first two rounds in a feature group with Mickelson and Mahan.
John Senden is being tipped as a real contender this weekend while also lining up in Texas are Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Scott Gardiner, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Cameron Percy and Alistair Presnell.
Shell Houston Open TV Coverage
The event is being covered live in Australia on Fox Sports:
1st Round, Friday, 7am to 10am. 2nd Round, Saturday 7am to 10am. 3rd Round , Sunday 4am to 9am. Final Round, Monday 4am to 9am.
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