On Sunday in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, Tiger Woods had an opportunity to end a winless drought that stretched back to the 2009 JBWere Masters. Having fought back time and again this week from a weak driver, Woods relented to his weaknesses and closed with a 3-over round of 75 that left him seven shots back of champion Alvaro Quiros.

In what has come to be expected this week, the 2006 and 2008 Dubai winner dropped shots early in the round. On Sunday, it was at holes two and three to dig an early hole.

Just like the remainder of the week, though, Woods found a way to battle back. Birdies at the 6th, 11th and 13th holes overcame the early dropped shots. It was a bogey at the 12th hole – his nemesis for the week – that left him at even par through 13 holes.

Woods immediately dropped a shot at the 14th, though, to go back to over par for the round. From then on, Woods had no answer. To close the tournament, he played the par-5 finishing hole – his strongest of the week to that point – to a double bogey finish and a tie for 20th place.
“There were quite a few positives this week but a couple of glaring examples of what I need to work on,” Woods said. “It’s like anything. All my old feels (for the clubs) are out the window when the winds blow. That’s the thing when you are making change. It’s fine when the wind is not blowing. But when you have to hit a shot when the wind blows … the new swing patterns get exposed.”

The final round 75 – duplicated by playing partner Sergio Garcia – left Woods on 4-under 284 for the tournament, seven shots back of Spaniard Alvaro Quiros.

Quiros got off to the exact opposite start of Woods – holing out for eagle at the 2nd, then birdies in two of the next three holes. Quiros posted a seven of his own, at the par-4 8th hole, but he overcame it with a pair of birdies and a hole-in-one at the par-3 11th hole.

To close, the runner-up last week in Qatar shot three consecutive rounds of 68.

Third round co-leader Anders Hansen finished tied second with South African James Kingston at 10-under. Saturday overnight leaders Thomas Aiken and Rory McIlroy both could not improve upon their 54-hole scores.

Aiken finished with even par 72 to end on 8-under par. McIlroy struggled again, making three straight bogeys late in the round, to shoot 74 and finish tied 10th.