Tiger travels hit by Trump protests

Woods was forced to fly commercially after his private jet was caught up in protests against US President Donald Trump.

Tiger Woods on the driving range prior to this week's Dubai Desert Classic.

Sometimes, even Tiger Woods has to fly commercial.

The 14-time major champion was forced to take a commercial flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Dubai Sunday, in order to make it on time for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. 

Woods typically flies private, but because of widespread protests condemning US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that bars travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Woods was unable to reach his plane.

Woods said it was the first time in approximately 10 years that he’s travelled commercial.

“We were on the other side of the terminal,” Woods said at Emirates Golf Club yesterday. 

“You could see it, but we just couldn’t get there.”

According to an ESPN report, Woods arrived just 30 minutes before the commercial plane was set to depart from Tom Bradley International Terminal. Earlier that day he had flown private from San Diego after missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Meanwhile Masters champion Danny Willett is hoping to kickstart a repeat of last year’s history as he prepares to defend his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title this week.

Willett memorably progressed from his 2016 victory at the Emirates Golf Club to become the first Englishman in 20 years to don the Green Jacket at Augusta two months later.

A year on, he is up against a strong field again, including Open champion Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia — and 14-time Major winner Woods, twice successful here previously and back for his first European Tour event after 15 months away with back problems.

Willett, of course, will return with the fondest of memories. 

“Last year this tournament was the start of really what was an amazing season,” he said.

“It was the first time, I think, within a tournament that I had been in and around the lead all week — instead of either coming from behind early on or having a biggish-lead with nine to play.”


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