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Woods optimistic despite fighting 'hot pull'

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AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Jordan Spieth of the United States, Brooks Koepka of the United States, Charley Hoffman of the United States and Amateur Byron Meth of the United States look over the side of the Hogan Bridge with their caddies during a practice round prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)  - 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – On Friday at the Dubai Desert Classic, Tiger Woods chose to drink from the glass which was half full.

“Ironically enough, I felt great with the putter, but feeling good with the putter from 40 to 50 feet is not good,” the world No. 1 figured following a second-round 73 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead.

For the second consecutive day Woods was saved, to a point, by his short game as he struggled to hit fairways with an increasingly balky driver. He connected with just four of 14 fairways in Round 2. Maybe even more concerning for Woods, he hit just two of 10 fairways with a driver in his hands.

“I just wasn’t able to get in a position where I can dial it in consistently,” said Woods, who referred to his driver swing as a “hot pull.” “The hot pull is fine. It’s easy to fix.”

Woods said his driving issues are “all aim,” as he tries to play a left-to-right ball flight. The result, however, was five drives that found the desert in toughening conditions at the Emirates Golf Club.

The good news for Woods, there is no 54-hole cut on the European Tour. Last week at Torrey Pines he carded a 79 on Saturday to miss his first three-round cut on the PGA Tour.

He will have two more rounds to work through his driver issues, but at 3 under par he’s tied for 44th and well behind midway leader Rory McIlroy, with whom he played the first two days.

“I just need to get the game to come around,” he said. “I need a lot of wind on the weekend and to play two great rounds.”