The one thing we do know, is that both Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy love to play at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, so will golf fans be treated to an epic battle this week at the Emirates Golf Course in the U.A.E? We know that Rory’s game is on the mend since he picked up the late season win in Australia, and finished tied for second at Abu Dhabi a few weeks back. The only question mark at this point, is Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods admitted in a press conference when he arrived in the Far East that he was “just a fraction off” last Saturday at Torrey Pines. On a golf course where the average score was over 72, he shot 79. He finished in 80th place, and missed the secondary cut for Sunday.
“I was just a fraction off, and a fraction off on a golf course set up that hard, it bit a lot of us, and unfortunately it bit me pretty hard. I think the average score was just over 73 on Saturday, and I shot 79.
“I needed to make a few changes, just a few slight adjustments, and I did that, and I had unfortunately Sunday off, so I had a chance to go home and hit a few shots. I came out here and just wanted to improve every day. Tuesday was better than Monday, and Wednesday was better than Tuesday. Hopefully tomorrow will be even better than today.”
Since winning his first tournament as a professional here in 2009, Rory McIlroy loves this place. He has finished in the top 10 every time he has teed it up at the Emirates GC. He also played here as an amateur back in 2006 and 2007.
After a horrible season that saw the youngster from Northern Ireland drop from the top spot in World Rankings to number six, we have seen a resurgent in his golf game later in the year, and through the beginning of 2014. He is showing signs of a big come-back this year, and I expect to see him climbing back to the top in the near future.
For McIlroy, it has always been his success off the tee that regulates his golf game, and after what I saw in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, I think his game is back. He was driving the ball well, dropping some long putts, and the swagger is back in his game. The swagger comes from confidence in what he is doing, and will only get better throughout the year.
“I’m playing well. I played well in Abu Dhabi, feel like my game has come on a little bit since then, as well, with the wedge play and stuff. I feel good driving the ball well, which is a big key for me, so hopefully I can keep that up.
The Dubai Desert Classic is the final event on the European Tour’s “Desert Swing”, and has a strong field of World Class players. This is the 25th anniversary of the event, and only a few of the world’s top players will not be here. Adam Scott is still vacationing, Justin Rose is out for injuries, and Phil Mickelson is defending his Waste Management Phoenix Open title.
This is one of the top events on the European Tour, and I can’t wait until it gets underway on Thursday morning. I could possibly set up to be the Duel in the Desert that we were expecting a year ago in Dubai. Hopefully, we can get to Sunday afternoon with Tiger and Rory in contention for an epic finish.
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