DUBAI (Reuters) - World number one Tiger Woods shrugged off concerns on Wednesday that his Torrey Pines nightmare might follow him to the Middle East for this weekend’s Dubai Desert Classic.
The 38-year-old American endured a torrid time in his first outing of 2014, making the second-round cut at the Farmers Insurance Open by one stroke before carding a 79 on Saturday, the second-worst round of his professional career.
“My game certainly was not as sharp, nowhere near as sharp, as I would have liked last week,” Woods told reporters in Dubai on Wednesday in his first public comments since declining to talk to reporters following the round in California.
“I was just a fraction off and being a fraction off on the golf course set that up. It bit a lot of us and unfortunately it bit me pretty hard,” he said, adding that the average score on Saturday was about 73.
Woods had previously enjoyed plenty of success at Torrey Pines - he won the 2013 event at the course and had lifted the 2008 U.S. Open title there.
He also has good memories of the Arab city-state, claiming the Dubai Desert Classic in 2006 and 2008, and hoped the adjustments he has made since last weekend would help him at the Emirates Golf Club.
“I came out here and just wanted to improve every day,” Woods said. “Tuesday was better than Monday, and Wednesday was better than Tuesday. Hopefully tomorrow will be even better than today.”
Reporting by David French; Editing by Ken Ferris