Dubai: Tiger Woods finished with a flourish at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday but it was a case of too little, too late from the world number one, as he finished tied 41st in the end.
The 38-year-old American birdied his last three holes at the Emirates Golf Club to close with a 71 and a six-under total that left him languishing well down the field. (Shiv Kapur finishes 48th)
It was Woods's second tournament of the year and following his missed cut at Torrey Pines, California last week, his sojourn in the Gulf will have done little to raise his confidence levels.
"Unfortunately, turned it around too late," said Woods, who won the Desert Classic twice previously in 2006 and 2008.
"I drove it great today, piped it all day. My iron game was not as sharp as I would have liked, but then I also had seven lip outs today, so that's quite a few lip outs.
"After making that quick easy fix on my grip the other day and from then on I drove it great.
"But it's been hard chipping off this rye grass as I have been so used to chipping out of Bermuda and that needs a little different technique."
From all accounts, Woods will have plenty time to work on those tricky technique adjustments as he is expected to take a month off after Dubai before honing in on the year's first major, the Masters, at Augusta National in early April.
If that is true, it means that among the tournaments he will miss will be the WGC-Match Play tournament, which he has won three times previously.
Asked what his immediate schedule would be, Woods said jokingly: "I'm going to play every week from here on to the rest of the year. How's that?" Before adding "We'll see what happens."
There had been conjecture earlier in the year that Woods would take time off after Dubai to travel to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, where his girlfriend, champion downhill skier, Lindsey Vonn was due to compete.
But due to a knee injury she pulled out of the Games and instead Woods is now planning to play in a one-day private corporate event in New Delhi on Tuesday.
A leaner schedule would also not be a surprise given the repeated injuries Woods has battled over the last few years, especially with his knees and last year with his back and wrist.
He finished the season last year complaining of tiredness and took a long winter break before re-emerging at Torrey Pines.
"The year basically gets pretty congested starting at the British Open," Woods said on Wednesday after playing in the Dubai pro-am.
"I take (the week of the Canadian Open) off but then it's Firestone (WGC-Bridgestone), then a week off, then all four playoff events, and then for the Americans there's a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup every year."
At least Woods made one convert in Dubai on Sunday -- playing partner Pablo Larrazabal, who tweeted: "I had a nice day out there -- I really enjoyed playing with Tiger Woods ... He is a better guy than a golfer."
Story first published on: Sunday, 02 February 2014 18:55 IST