The Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard 2011 started conventionally. Since the Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard 2011 had Tiger Woods way back, it qualifies as conventional these days. By now, it is a surprise when Woods isn’t several shots behind and is actually in contention, instead of the other way around. Although Woods has won this tournament twice before, he didn’t give the impression that he would do it again this year. But a late eagle yesterday gave Woods momentum, and now he is marching up the leaderboard like in the old days.
After the first round, Woods was six shots behind first round leader Rory McIlory. He started out with a few early bogeys, unlike his playing partners, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. These kind of struggles are why Westwood and Kaymer passed him in the world rankings to begin with.
But today’s Dubai Desert Classic play tells a different story. Instead of starting with bogeys, Woods had none at all in round two. He also had six birdies, which put him at -7 after two days, and leaves him tied for fifth with four other players.
These rounds are now few and far between, so there’s massive hype whenever they do happen. Fans and the press will jump at any opportunity to say Woods has returned after a year of waiting. But that can’t really happen until he wins a tournament, and he still has a ways to go here.
Despite his charge, the Dubai Desert Classic might be too unforgiving. Woods trailed McIlroy by six shots going into today, and he only made up two strokes in round 2. McIlroy had a slow start, as Thomas Aiken and Sergio Garcia made a move as well. But McIlroy recovered to hold a one-shot lead over Aiken and Garcia, and a four-shot lead on Woods.
As for Westwood and Kaymer, they fell behind a bit, despite shooting below par. But since Westwood only had a 70, and Kaymer just managed a 71, they dropped six and seven shots back, respectively. Although they both led Woods early, in a pairing containing the three best players in the world, Woods suddenly has a better chance than they do.
Now everyone will look for Woods to charge up the Desert Classic tomorrow. Saturday is his typical moving day – or it used to be. Winning here, against most of the best players in the world, would finally prove that the old Woods isn’t gone yet.
Yet each time he has seemed ready to threaten lately, he drops back into mediocrity at the end. Will the Dubai Desert Classic see the typical old Woods climb up, or the typical new Woods fall down again?
Yahoo Sports- “Leaderboard”
MSNBC.com- “Tiger Woods shoots 66 in Dubai 2’nd round, now in contention”