Tiger Woods has given Rory McIlroy a pep talk telling the Northern Irishman to go out and win in Houston this week.
McIlroy had previously text Woods to congratulate him on regaining the world No.1 spot, and got a rallying text message back urging him to take back that place at the top of the rankings at the Shell Houston Open this weekend.
A victory for the 23-year-old would take him back to the summit, but McIlroy insists that it has been nice for him to be away from all the hype, out of the spotlight and able to relax.
With the Masters fast approaching, the Ryder Cup winner will hope to regain some form that saw him win the U.S Open in 2011, and the PGA Championship last August.
McIlroy will be trying to become the first European to win the Masters since 1999 when Jose Maria Olazabal managed to win the coveted green jacket, although, Woods is now the favourite to win the tournament for the fifth time in his career.
"People left me alone, it was fine," McIlroy is quoted by Sky Sports. "It's nice to just go, not just go about my business and no one cares, but you go about it and not be, I guess, the most talked about person in golf. It's a nice thing.
"We're not machines, we're humans. You're going to have patches where you play great and have patches where you struggle a little bit.
"I guess you've just got to take the rough and the smooth and just try and treat those times, sort of play and be patient and know that you're working on the right things."
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