European Golf Tour
February 12, 2011 by staff
European Golf Tour, (CP) – Scores Saturday from the Dubai Desert Classic, a 2.5 million us and to European Tour events, par-72, 7301 yards Emirates Golf:
Strong off the tee and hit his shots with exquisite control, Tiger Woods seemed like his old one. He turned in the best score of the day with a bogey-free 6-under 66 Friday in the running waves to the Dubai Desert Classic. The cycle put him four shots behind leader Rory McIlroy and gave him every reason to believe he can for the first time in over a year.
Woods was part of a power group that included top-ranked and second-ranked Lee Westwood Martin Kaymer. But that day, Woods has played as if it was undoubtedly once again No. 1.
“I felt good today. I hit many good shots, “said Woods, who compared his game to the way he played last year’s Challenge Chevron World, where he lost in overtime at the U.S. Open Graeme McDowell.
Woods, who was outdriving his playing partners, added precision to his blistering drives and approach shots. And unlike Wednesday, when he missed putts makable and approach shots hit across the green, the winner of 14 majors is regularly gave chances.
He finished with six birdies and was at 7-under 137 entering the weekend at the Emirates Golf Club. He won the tournament in 2006 and 2008.
“I felt like I drove very well,” he said. “I feel good. We worked on some things last night that I did not like. ”
McIlroy followed his opening 65 with a 68. This course brings out the best golfer in the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland, who won his only Tour victory for Europe in this tournament two years ago.
One stroke back at 10 years was Sergio Garcia (67) and South Africa Thomas Aiken (67), followed by England Steve Webster (68) at 8 under.
“I’m just concentrating on myself,” said McIlroy. “I do not mind playing well over the weekend or pull on this score. So I go out and shoot the numbers I want, while the most important thing. ”
Woods was tied for fifth place with Jean-Baptiste Gonnet of France, Anders Hansen of Denmark, Michael Hoey of Ireland North and Brett Rumford of Australia. Westwood (70) is 5-139 and under Kaymer (71) at 4 under.
McIlroy has struggled since winning the Championship Quail Hollow last year. He says he approached his game with more patience, and it seems to be working – he finished second in the championship last month in Abu Dhabi.
McIlroy bogeyed the par-4 whole seconds, but five birdies on his last 12 holes, including 18 for the second straight day.
“I thought after the start I had, I really hung in there and stayed patient and just sort of pick my birdies when I can,” said McIlroy. “I think I had 5 under 7 go. So, really pleased all around. ”
Westwood had four birdies but bogeyed two of his last four holes, missing two putts makable. Kaymer never seemed to go. His three birdies over the first six holes have been undermined by two bogeys.
“I do not give me enough chances,” said Westwood. “It was just a trick really plod a bit of a boring day.”
Westwood, who last year struggling with a calf injury, said his distance and control are not what they should be. He showed on approach shots that fell short, leaving long putts on several holes.
“Remote control is low when you’re not hitting it very well,” he said. “I’m just playing for fat greens and really try to do some long that I did not, which is why I’m 5 under. Always they’re with a chance. ”
Aiken, ranked 97th and known as much for his shoulder-length hair as for his swing, had 67s in the first two rounds.
“Missed a green all day and I was at the limit and I could putt,” he said. “Just been to put the ball in the right positions, and these vegetables are so pure that you will dig putts.”
Garcia, once ranked No. 2 but now No. 79, showed the consistency of this week had failed last year. He had two bogey-free rounds.
“I think the setting was probably the thing I’m doing my best these last three weeks,” said Garcia, who had a top-10 in Qatar last week. “It’s nice to see my game, my long game up for it. ”
Westwood could lose top spot if Kaymer wins and he finishes lower than second, and if Kaymer finished second and Westwood is outside the top 10. If Kaymer is tied for second, he could still become No. 1 for the first time if Westwood finished on the top 36. Woods could move ahead of Kaymer Kaymer if he wins and finished outside the top five.
Woods suspects it might do better going into a weekend when the strong wind is expected. Yet he enjoyed his second round, drawing his sixth hole emblematic of his era.
Woods drove the lane of 485-yard par-4 holes and hit an 8-iron about 160 yards off the stem, where he made a birdie easy. Just as he did with a monster drive on 18 on Thursday, which led to an eagle, the blow cheering crowds and a reminder of how good Woods can be when his game is on track.
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