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Tiger's short game turns Torrey Pines tide

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Statistically, Tiger Woods’ opening 68 at the Dubai Desert Classic and his Saturday 79 at Torrey Pines were not that different.

On Thursday at Emirates Golf Club, Woods hit 7 of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens in regulation, compared to 6 of 14 and 12 of 18 to close his week at the Farmers Insurance Open.

The main difference was around the greens and, more directly, how he managed his game. On Thursday Woods needed just 25 putts on his way to an early tie for fifth place, while at Torrey Pines he took 29 putts to miss his first 54-hole cut on the PGA Tour.

“It’s a lot easier playing out of this rough on these greens than it is on poa (at Torrey Pines). You hit shots where sometimes it sticks, sometimes it stops, sometimes it shoots out,” he said.

“Last week although I didn’t get up and down a lot, I always fat-sided myself. Today was the same deal, gave myself a lot of room. That’s understanding how to miss it. I missed it in the right spots.”