Organisers have confirmed Rory McIlroy will tee-up in the April 4th to 7th Valero Texas Open in the week prior The Masters.
McIlroy’s appearance is sure to be a huge boost to fans flocking to the Greg Norman designed TPC San Antonio Oaks course in the Lone Star State.
McIlroy last contested the Texas tournament in 2022 but missed the cut and prior to that McIlroy had not played the week before the year’s first major since 2014 where though McIlroy did not win what was the Shell Houston Open, it did prove a successful year at the game’s highest level in capturing the back-to-back Open Championship and PGA Championship.
McIlroy had also competed in Texas a year earlier in 2013 in his first Valero Texas Open, and the event that year was the curtain-raiser to The Masters though the Northern Irishman finished runner-up two shots behind Scot Martin Laird in Alamo City.
Since 2015, McIlroy has always enjoyed a two-week break between contesting either the Arnold Palmer Invitational (2015 & 2018) or the WGC – Dell Match-Play (2016 to 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023) and then heading to Augusta. In this regard there was one exception with that being in 2020 when Covid-19 pushed the hosting of the Masters back to November.
Looking back to the eve of the 2022 Valero Texas Open and McIlroy was asked his reasons in teeing-up in the event for a first time in a decade.
“I just wanted to mix it up. I sort of haven’t really enjoyed the format of the Match Play the last couple years and I just wanted to mix it up and I still wanted to feel like I was sharp going into Augusta”, he said.
“I don’t want to make this week all about Augusta, I still want to be here and compete and try to win this golf tournament, but yeah, I just wanted to mix it up and I’m glad to be back.
“I played the week before the Masters a few times when it was in Houston and now here”.
This year’s Valero Texas Open also will be a sombre occasion following the recent passing of Texas golfing legend Jack Burke Jr who won the 1952 Texas Open by an impressive six strokes from fellow Masters champ Doug Ford.