Tiger Woods' drought continues in Dubai

Alvaro Quiros played golf with swagger Sunday in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic. His round of 68 included a hole in one, eagle and triple-bogey eight and the 28-year-old Spaniard's aggressive play was crowd pleasing and good enough to win.

And it was reminiscent of how one of the tournament's also-rans, Tiger Woods, used to play.

Woods had begun the day one shot behind co-leaders Anders Hansen, James Kingston and Rory McIlroy.

After bogeying two of the first three holes and finishing with an emotionless double-bogey seven on the final hole, Woods' three-over-par 75 left him tied for 20th at four-under 284, seven shots behind the winner and still searching for his first tournament win since November of 2009

"There were quite a few positives this week but a couple of glaring examples of what I need to work on," Woods told reporters in Dubai.

Woods let a moment of exasperation become public on the third hole. He yelled at photographers when he thought their cameras clicked during his swing on an approach shot that sailed left and led to a bogey.

He also garnered some negative attention on the 12th hole when, as he crouched over a putt, he spit on the green, a breach of etiquette that was described by the London newspaper the Mail as "a new low."

Lawrence Donegan of the Guardian, another London newspaper, wrote, "He might want to ask himself how much it serves the cause of his post-scandal rehabilitation to be broadcast around the world spitting on the green."

The final two rounds were played in a desert wind that made it tough for the golfers to get a feel for where the ball might be taken once it hit the air.

Large galleries followed Woods and Sergio Garcia, who were paired together after each had begun the day one stroke from the lead, and those fans were often ducking and running from errant shots. Garcia had a triple bogey in his final-round 75.

This is the second straight tournament where Woods had seemingly shot himself into contention on Friday and then finished with an uncompetitive final-round 75. It was the same two weeks ago for Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla.

Woods, in his first tournament since finishing in a tie for 44th at Torrey Pines, shot an opening-round 71 and then caused golf ears to perk up around the world with a 66 on Friday. Woods, 35, hung in with a 72 in Saturday winds, a workmanlike performance that had left him in contention.

But even after another disappointing finish, Woods said he felt optimistic.

"I hit the ball pure and that's the thing," he said. "When the wind blows, I have to shape shots and hit shots differently and all my old feels are kind of out the window. That's the thing about making changes.

"I improved a lot considering where I was at Torrey Pines. Obviously I didn't finish the way I needed to win. I did put myself there after two rounds and then just didn't get it done," he said.

Woods still seemed to have a chance when he teed off on the 14th hole only four shots behind the leader. But his drive ended up bouncing around decorative rocks and from there he knocked the ball in a bunker and all the trouble resulted in a bogey.

After that Woods' shoulders sagged and he finished listlessly with three pars and a double bogey. Woods is next expected to play at the World Match Play Championships outside Tucson beginning Feb. 23.

Quiros finished a shot ahead of Hansen and Kingston.

diane.pucin@latimes.com

twitter.com/mepucin

Pucin reported from Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
59°