Dubai: World No.1 Tiger Woods was just thankful to have re-discovered his drive at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic here on Sunday after finishing six-under par for the tournament.
The 14-time Major winner hit 282 (68,73,70,71) to finish tied for 41st 10 strokes off the lead. It followed a difficult start to the season at the Farmers Insurance Open in America last week where he missed the secondary cut with a third round 79.
Woods blamed his drive for his poor performance at Torrey Pines, an issue he said he managed to rectify with amendments to his grip in Dubai. “I drove it great today,” said Woods. “The driving was something I didn’t really do very well last week.
“But this weekend, it was nice to be able to start piping it out there again and getting it out there with the big boys. I made a quick and easy fix to my grip and from then on drove it great.
“When I didn’t have my grip right [last week] I throttled back a bit to try and get the ball in play and I just didn’t hit it as far. Now I’m able to start letting it go — it’s back to where it should be.”
In an ironic twist, however, it was his short game that he said had been fine last week that had let him down here in the emirate. He now hopes both sides of his game will come together in the coming weeks.
“I definitely made some good putts [last week] but this week I just kept lipping everything out. I’m hitting my lines. My speed is just a fraction off.
“I still need a little bit of work chipping it out of this ryegrass. I’ve been chipping it out of Bermuda and it’s a little bit of a different technique.”
Elsewhere, World No.3 Henrik Stenson also blamed his short game after he finished eight under par for the tournament on 280 (70,67,75,68), tied for 29th eight strokes behind.
“I’ve really been struggling to find the right lines on the greens these last couple of days,” said Stenson. “I’m going to spend a bit of time on my putting and short game for sure.”