McIlroy feeling good ahead of busy period

Rory McIlroy says he is pleased with his preparations as he prepares to play in this weekend’s Valero Texas Open (McIlroy 15/2 to win the tournament – outright).

The world number nine says he has seen noticeable differences in his game compared to this time last year, and he believes his work with coach Pete Cowen will pay dividends.

After missing the cut in his Players Championship title defence and losing to Ian Poulter in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in 2021, McIlroy turned to Cowen for his help.

The duo have made subtle changes to his game, and he has since won the Wells Fargo Championship and The CJ Cup on the PGA Tour.

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McIlroy has four top-15 places so far in 2022, and he believes he is hitting his best form at the right time, especially as he tries to complete the career Grand Slam at The Masters next weekend.

When asked about his form, he told Sky Sports: “It’s chalk and cheese.

“Actually, I wanted to play this event last year, but after The Players and the Match Play, I felt like it was better for me to just work on my swing at home and just work on my game because at least I had an opportunity to do that going into Augusta.

“So yeah, it’s way different. I’m way more comfortable with my game; I’m happy with where everything is. Everything seems like it’s a lot more settled.

“At least coming into this event and playing this week, I don’t feel like there’s a rush to get there next week and cram and prepare. I feel like I’ve already done most of my work, which is a nice feeling.”

A star-studded field will take to the tee on Thursday in Texas, with Jordan Spieth (14/1 to win – outright), Hideki Matsuyama and Bryson DeChambeau (25/1 to win – outright) all due to play this week.

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