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Tiger Passes Westwood, Kaymer, Still Four Off McIlroy’s Lead – SportsUntapped.com
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Added February 11th, 2011 by Chalk

Tiger Passes Westwood, Kaymer, Still Four Off McIlroy’s Lead
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On the 564-yard final hole of a disappointing first round in Dubai, Tiger didn’t just get on the green in two, he left himself an easy five-foot putt for eagle to get under par. He was still two behind playing partners Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, the two golfers who recently passed him in the world rankings, and six off the lead, but it clearly gave Tiger momentum.

In Friday’s second round, Tiger ran with that momentum, shooting a 6-under 66 to move from a tie for 27th to a tie for fifth. At 7-under for the tournament, Tiger moved ahead of Westwood and Kaymer, who he again played with in the second round, but is still four shots behind Rory McIlroy, who has led after the first two rounds and who won this tournament two years ago. Tiger is also a two-time winner in Dubai, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep charging up the leaderboard, or if like so many other tournaments over the past year, it will be one good round paired with two or three mediocre ones.

Tiger played considerably better on the back nine in his first round, so it may have also helped that he started on the back nine in the second round. Tiger made six birdies and no bogeys in his second round after making three bogeys and a double bogey on Thursday, and he obviously liked the new consistency. “I played myself right back into the tournament,” Tiger said. “I felt I hit the ball a lot better and the greens were absolutely perfect. It was steady. I didn’t make as many mistakes as yesterday and I felt it was important to post a number.”

As for Tiger’s playing partners, Westwood made four birdies and two bogeys on Friday, leaving him 5-under for the tournament in a tie for 10th. Kaymer had three birdies and two bogeys Friday, getting him to 4-under for the tournament and T20 on the leaderboard. Thomas Aiken and Sergio Garcia finished their second rounds in the same position as they started, sharing second place, one shot behind McIlroy. McIlory followed his opening round 65 with a 68 on Friday, and made only one bogey in each round.

On Saturday, Tiger will tee off in the third-to-last group with Anders Hansen of Denmark, who’s also tied for fifth and currently No. 70 in the world rankings.

 
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