Rory McIlroy will have the chance to oust Tiger Woods from the top of the golf world rankings when he plays the Shell Houston Open, starting on Thursday.

Woods returned to the top of the charts after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Monday, but will not play again until the Masters on April 11, allowing McIlroy the chance to retain top spot after just one week.

It will be Woods' 624th week ranked the number one golfer in the world, but the attention will turn back to the Northern Irishman this weekend, with his highest finish of the year to-date just eighth.

It is also the first time a European has not held the top spot since October 2010,. Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and McIlroy have all been at the top of the rankings since that time.

The 23-year-old will be looking for a return to form and some much needed confidence in Houston, with the intention to be at his brilliant best just in time for when he visits Augusta and chases the green jacket.

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