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Rory McIlroy hoping Texas Open will help him get 'sharp' for the Masters

  • Rory McIlroy, left, of Northern Ireland, walks across a foot bridge during the pro-am at the Texas Open golf tournament, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in San Antonio. Play was stopped due to severe weather. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Associated Press

  • Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the pro-am at the Texas Open golf tournament, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in San Antonio. Play was stopped due to severe weather. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Associated Press

  • Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 13th hole during the pro-am at the Texas Open golf tournament, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in San Antonio. Play was stopped due to severe weather. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Associated Press

  • Golf fans use trash bags to protects themselves as they leave the course after play was called for severe weather during the pro-am at the Texas Open golf tournament, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Associated Press

  • Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, shares a laugh with his playing partners during the pro-am at the Texas Open golf tournament, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in San Antonio. Play was stopped due to severe weather. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Associated Press

Rory McIlroy's last-minute, last-ditch effort to right his game in time for golf's first major of the year at The Masters next week has taken a trip to a usually out-of-the-way spot on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy and three other highly-ranked players start play in the Valero Texas Open on Thursday at TPC San Antonio.

Big-name players don't often seek the Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course at TPC to sharpen their games.

Yet McIlroy's play since he won the PGA Championship in August has dropped him a spot, from 1 to 2, while Tiger Woods went back to the top.