European Tour Analyst Julian Tutt is in Dubai this week for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Lee Westwood shot a third round 66 on Saturday and takes the lead entering the final round in Dubai. He has been a good putter in the past but he has been very good on the greens in recent years. He has been working with a teacher for the past several months and is even using putting aides for the first time in his career. Westwood is seeing progress in these lessons and that confidence is helping to improve his performance on the greens which we are seeing this week.
Rory McIlroy started the third round with the lead but shot an even par 72. He did not look very comfortable on the course from the very beginning and did not drive the ball well. When the rough is as thick as it is at Emirates Golf Club, you cannot afford to be driving the ball erratically and McIlroy had a two-way miss off the tee in the third round. McIlroy also seemed off with his aim on his iron shots but McIlroy is so talented that he is still in the mix despite his struggles.
The wind was up a little bit on Saturday but it is expected to be up to 25 miles per hour on Sunday which will cause the sand and dust to blow up in the players’ faces. If that is the case, he would favor Martin Kaymer because he is a good player in tough weather and Rory McIlroy does not have a good final round history at Emirates Golf Club.