Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter hope decision to play in Texas will pay off at Augusta

Last Updated: 03/04/13 3:55pm

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Rory McIlroy: Only 12 competitive rounds this year

Rory McIlroy: Only 12 competitive rounds this year

Sky Bet

Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter have defended their decisions to add the Valero Texas Open to their schedules.

The Ryder Cup team-mates were expected to take a week off before heading to Augusta for the Masters but have decided to tee-up in San Antonio on the advice of their caddies.

McIlroy is still some distance short of his best as he continues to come to terms with new equipment, but he feels a week of competition will stand him in good stead for Augusta.

"JP (Fitzgerald) was the one that mentioned it to me," McIlroy said last week. "He said, 'If you just play a few more rounds, I think you're going to be ready.'

"I didn't really think about it too much and sat down, had some lunch, started to think about it and I texted him and said, 'I don't think this is a bad idea.' Probably took me an hour or two to sort of think about it and decide."

Competitive

McIlroy has played only 12 full competitive rounds this year, and he joked: "There's not any worry of burnout.

"It's just about playing a bit more competitive golf and getting a little sharper. I think the more rounds I play, the better it will be for me going into Augusta."
Rory McIlroy

"It's just about playing a bit more competitive golf and getting a little sharper. I think the more rounds I play, the better it will be for me going into Augusta."

Poulter has played just three strokeplay events this season, but he and bagman Terry Mundy feel the tight layout at TPC San Antonio will suit his accurate style of play.

"I've never played the week prior to the Masters before, but I've only played three events so far this year so it feels like a perfect fit."

But the weight of history is against McIlroy and Poulter as Sandy Lyle (1988) and Phil Mickelson (2006) remain the only two players to win the Masters having also won the previous week.

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