Once the frost thawed, Rory McIlroy was back at work Wednesday morning trying to find a swing he could trust and repeat.
McIlroy hasn't looked anything like the No. 1 player in golf this year, and now he's not. That spot belongs to Tiger Woods again after winning for the third time in two months to establish himself as the favorite going into the Masters.
None of this bothers McIlroy.
He is more concerned with the path of his swing than the mathematical average of his ranking. He wants to win whenever he plays, though there is pragmatic side to the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland. He still hasn't made the cut against a full field this year.
That makes the Houston Open more than just a final warm-up for the first major of the year. It's a place to measure progress.
''I want to get back to getting into contention in tournaments and trying to win,'' McIlroy said. ''I think this is a good week to try and get into contention, have a chance w...