Woods struggles with putter; lead tape the answer?


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Much of the focus following last week’s abbreviated start at the Farmers Insurance Open was on Tiger Woods’ driving.

On Day 1 at Torrey Pines he hit just 4 of 14 fairways, but it wasn’t his driving that sent Woods tumbling down the leaderboard on Thursday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. He hit 10 of 14 fairways at Emirates Golf Club, but struggled with the pace of the greens.

“I just could not hit the putts hard enough. I left every putt short,” said Woods, who needed 33 putts on his way to a 5-over 77. “What I thought was down grain, downwind, would be quick, downhill, and I still came up short. Into the wind, uphill putts into the grain, I put a little more hinge on it going back to try to get a little more hit to it and it still didn't work.”

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Although Woods had few legitimate birdie opportunities, the slower speed of the greens for the opening round was a challenge, like at the fifth hole when he three-putted from about 50 feet.

“I'll try to figure something out, maybe more lead tape on it, something, a little more weight, do something to try to get some of these putts to the hole,” he said.

Woods opened with a 76 last week and needed 59 putts on his way to his first missed cut at Torrey Pines.