Dubai - Tiger
Woods' struggles on the golf course continued as he slumped to a
birdie-free round of five-over par 77 in the opening round of the EPGA
Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday.
Woods, 41, was among the morning groups to tee off, and from his
first hooked drive on the 10th hole, which led to a bogey, it was a
relentless but futile search for the former world number one.
The American world No666 made the turn at three-over par after
hitting his third shot into the water on the par-5 18th, and even though
he seemed to be hitting the ball much better on his back nine (the
front nine of the Majlis course), he missed four birdie chances and made
two further bogeys.
"Well, I didn't hit the ball very well. I left there probably about
16 putts short. I just couldn't get the speed of these things, and
consequently, it added up to a pretty high number," said 14-times major
There were a couple of shots during the round where he walked gingerly after hitting, but Woods said he wasn't in any pain.
"No, I wasn't in pain at all. I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn't doing a very good job," he added.
"At the end, I finally hit some good ones but damage had already been
done. On top of that, I could have hung in there, I could have shot
something near even par if I would have made some putts, but I made
Spain's Sergio Garcia led the tournament at the halfway stage of the
opening round with a seven-under par 65 effort, with Chile's Felipe
Aguilar and South African George Coetzee in second place with six-under
par 66 each.