Tiger Woods struggled in his first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. After struggling off the tee in the first round of his first PGA Tour event at the Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger appeared to have a different issue in Dubai; his putter.
Woods said of his putter:
“I just could not hit the putts hard enough. I left every putt short,” Woods said. “What I thought was down grain, downwind, would be quick, downhill, and I still came up short. Into the wind, uphill putts into the grain, I put a little more hinge on it going back to try to get a little more hit to it and it still didn’t work.”
“I’m fighting my ass off to try and shoot a score,” he said. “I’m trying to get back to even par, and once I get back to even par, try and get 1 or 2 under. Just try and creep my way back.”
As we all know, if you’re struggling with any part of your game, you’re not going to have much success on the course against this group of current players.
Woods also appeared to be walking gingerly but said after his opening round that he wasn’t in any pain.
“I wasn’t in pain at all. I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job,” Woods said. “At the end I finally hit some good ones but the damage had already been done.”
Woods’ approach to his return has been a cautious one, and who could blame him? He’s trying to get a feel back for tournament golf and pushing it early when the season is long and his goals are major tournaments just doesn’t make sense. If he wants to stick around and continue playing he’s got to get used to the pace, the walking, the rough, the different greens and his new clubs. Sure he’s had time to practice all of those things during his recovery, but it’s not the same when you have everyone watching every move you make.
Even though he finished the first round at five-over, two strokes ahead of last place and 12-strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia who is seven-under, he seems optimistic and considering he’s likely going to miss a second straight cut, that’s probably the best thing for Tiger at this point in time.
Tiger Woods – Round 1 – Omega Dubai Desert Classic
[Quotes via ASAP]