x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

How fans in Dubai were cheated by the Tiger Woods show

The world No 1 admitted he may have not taken his game seriously during the off-season break and that is harsh on the fans who paid to watch him at his best.

Tiger Woods had a consecutive bad week but he was more focused on preserving his fitness, by his own admission. Pawan Singh / The National
Tiger Woods had a consecutive bad week but he was more focused on preserving his fitness, by his own admission. Pawan Singh / The National

Because they hope to have the world No 1 back in future years, nobody at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic was going to publicly acknowledge the elephant in the room. Or in this case, the rather ragged Tiger.

After a rusty Tiger Woods finished in a tie for 41st after receiving a seven-figure appearance fee, a Dubai tournament official noted that Woods’s career-worst finish in the event had worked out fairly well, because it drew fans to the course earlier in the day, whereupon they stuck around and watched the contenders play in the afternoon.

True, though it represents the silver lining from Dubai’s silver-anniversary event.

After missing the secondary cut at Torrey Pines, Woods was never in the mix at the Desert Classic, events where he had amassed a combined 10 victories.

It marked the first time in his career that Woods did not crack the top 20 in his first two starts of a new year.

After disputing insinuations that he had not worked on his game in the off-season, Woods conceded the point after a one-over 73 on Saturday.

“I took a long break there and didn’t really do anything much,” he said. “Just trying to get my body organised, and that part materialised and that’s nice. Now I just need to get the game to come around.”

Given that his reported appearance fee matched the size of the tournament purse, fans buying tickets in good faith deserved better.

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