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McIlroy works with Harmon ahead of final Masters tuneup

WASHINGTON, United States -- Rory McIlroy said a lesson with veteran instructor Butch Harmon was a "really worthwhile trip" as he prepares for next week's Masters and another chance to complete a career grand slam.

The 34-year-old from Northern Ireland spoke about his visit to see the former coach of Tiger Woods on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) the eve of the opening round of his final Masters tuneup, the Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.

"It was a really worthwhile trip and I feel like I've done some good work after that," McIlroy said. "This is a good week to see where that work has gotten me."

Four-time major winner McIlroy has not won a major crown since the 2014 PGA Championship, but capturing a green jacket next week at Augusta National would put him in select company.

Only Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen have won each major at least once in their careers.

World number two McIlroy, a top-10 finisher in seven of the past 10 Masters, was runner-up to Scottie Scheffler in 2022.

McIlroy, who won the Dubai Desert Classic in January, was unsatisfied after two 21st-place showings and a 19th-place at The Players Championship during three Florida stops, so he went to Las Vegas to visit Harmon.

He said: "After The Players and just sort of struggling through that Florida Swing with my swing and with some of the misses I was having with my irons, I just thought to myself, 'I'm obviously missing something here and I just would love to go and get a second opinion and have him take a look, a second set of eyes.'

"The one thing with Butch is you go spend time with him and you're always going to feel better about yourself at the end of it whether you're hitting it better or not. He's sort of half golf coach, half psychologist in a way."

The change in routine helped McIlroy see some things in a new way.

"It's fun to go out there," he said.

"I went and spent probably four hours with him in Vegas. He said a couple of things to me that resonated.

"It's the same stuff that I've been trying to do with my coach Michael (Bannon), but he sort of just said it in a different way that maybe hit home with me a little bit more."

McIlroy has the chance to