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Woods has work to do after Dubai disappointment

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-02-15 07:52
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The flashes of brilliance at the Dubai Desert Classic didn't blind Tiger Woods to the signs that his new swing remains a work in progress.

Even so, Woods has no doubt about his future after stumbling in the final round on Sunday, shooting a 3-over 75 to finish seven shots behind winner Alvaro Quiros in a tie for 20th.

"I feel like I can still win golf tournaments," Woods said. "I'm not that old. I've still got some years ahead of me."

Woods drew cheers on Thursday when he hit a 3-wood 250 yards to the 18th green for an eagle. But he had trouble finding the fairway for much of the week in Dubai, his putter ran hot and cold, and his once-dangerous short game continued to let him down.

Woods started the final round a shot behind, but opened with two bogeys on his first three holes. He came back with birdies on Nos 6 and 11, but followed that with a bogeys on Nos 12 and 14, and then a double bogey on the last.

Woods, who won in Dubai in 2006 and 2008, has now gone 16 tournaments and 15 months without a victory after previously winning 14 majors and 82 tournaments.

"Yeah, very frustrating," Woods said of his final round. "I got off to such a poor start, I was 2 over through three early and just couldn't make it up from there."

Quiros shot a 68, surviving a wild round that included a hole-in-one and a triple bogey to finish at 11-under 277, one stroke ahead of Anders Hansen of Denmark (70) and James Kingston of South Africa (67).

Woods opened with a 71, moved into contention on Friday with a 66, and survived windy conditions on Saturday for a 72 that put him in position for his first victory since the Australian Masters in November 2009. He just couldn't keep the momentum going on Sunday in a final round that exposed the problems with his swing.

On the second, he drove over the green and then chipped past the hole, leading to his first bogey. On the third, he yelled at several photographers for disturbing his swing after his approach went left.

Associated Press