Tiger Woods drops early shot as comeback from back injury continues in Dubai

Tiger Woods made a shaky start as his golfing comeback continued at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The American, who revealed his latest swing has been designed to "play away from pain" as he returns to action from a back injury which required three operations in the space of 19 months, bogeyed his first hole at Emirates Golf Club.

Woods, who missed the cut in his first full event back in San Diego last week, was paired with Masters champion Danny Willett and England's Matt Fitzpatrick for the opening two rounds.

Starting on the back nine, Woods produced an awkward-looking swing on the par-five 10th hole and pulled his tee shot a long way left into rough.

The 14-time major champion's second found the sand and his third ran through the green and into a bunker before he finally found short grass with his fourth - although his chip finished a good 25 feet short of the hole.

Two putts from there ensured Woods dropped just the one shot, and he made a routine par at the short 11th before a better swing at the 12th saw his drive finish in the first cut.

Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, birdied his first two holes to be two shots behind early leader David Lipsky.

Woods failed to get up and down from just off the 12th green to register a second bogey in his opening three holes, but stopped the rot to some extent with a run of five consecutive pars.

At two over the 41-year-old found himself six behind Australian Wade Ormsby and England's Ian Poulter, the latter carding five birdies in an outward 33 to grab a share of the lead.

Only three of the 66 players on the course were below Woods on the leaderboard as he approached the turn.

Woods dropped another shot on the 18th after his third shot came up short of the green and rolled back into the water, the former world number one holing from eight feet to avoid a double bogey.

That meant an opening nine holes of 40 and chances for a first birdie of the day went begging on the second and third after a poor chip from short of the green and another tentative putt from seven feet respectively.

At three over par, Woods was already 10 shots off the pace being set by Sergio Garcia, the Spanish star having covered the back nine in 33 before making a birdie on the second and a stunning eagle on the third, where his fairway-wood approach finished just three feet from the pin.


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