Garcia leads as McIlroy, Woods crash
A shocking start by Rory McIlroy and a bad one by Tiger Woods has allowed Sergio Garcia to take control in Dubai.
A shocking start by Rory McIlroy and a poor one by Tiger Woods has allowed Sergio Garcia to take control of the Saturday’s third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
In easily the windiest conditions of the week, overnight leader McIlroy bogeyed the first three holes and slumped from one ahead to three behind.
Bad though his opening two fives were, the 21-year-old Northern Ireland’s six at the long third was a nightmare.
Left of the green in two, he left his first chip short , went to the far fringe with his next and then missed from 10 feet.
Garcia, in the meantime, had dropped his first shot of the tournament on the first green, but came back with birdies at the third and fifth to move 11-under par and two ahead of South African Thomas Aiken.
The Spaniard is seeking his first win since November 2008 and in that time slumped from second in the world to his current 79th and took time out to try to discover his zest for the game.
Woods, of course, last tasted victory almost 15 months ago, but after moving into contention with a superb second round 66 – the best of the day – he matched McIlroy by kicking off again with back-to-back bogeys.
At least he responded with a four on the 568-yard downwind third, but at six under after seven holes he had slipped from fifth to ninth and had five shots to make up on Garcia.
McIlroy let his fourth shot go on the short seventh, the hole where Raphael Jacquelin had had the second ace of the tournament earlier in the day, but Woods fared even worse at the end of the outward half.
After failing to get up and down from a bunker at the eighth his approach to the next found the lake. With a double-bogey six he was out in a four-over 39 and had crashed to 29th on three under – eight adrift of Garcia.
Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher had moved into third spot at eight under, one behind Aiken and three behind Garcia, while McIlroy was in a tie for fourth.
As for world number one Lee Westwood, he remained five under after 11 and was 13th, while number two Martin Kaymer was all the way back in 51st place, four over for the day like Woods and level par overall.
It left the German with next to no chance of the top-two finish he needed to dethrone Westwood.
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