Dubai, United Arab Emarites — Tiger Woods surged into contention at the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 66 in his bid to win his first tournament in more than a year.
With stellar putting and a consistent short game, Woods made six birdies for the day’s low score. He was at 7-under 137 after two rounds, four shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy followed his opening 65 with a 68 to maintain his lead going into the weekend at Emirates Golf Club. The 21-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland earned his only European Tour victory at this tournament two years ago.
A shot behind at 10 under were Sergio Garcia (67) and South Africa’s Thomas Aiken (67), followed by England’s Steve Webster (68) at 8 under.
Woods was tied for fifth with Jean-Baptiste Gonnet of France, Anders Hansen of Denmark, Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland and Brett Rumford of Australia.
Marino opens big lead at Pebble
Pebble Beach, Calif. — Steve Marino made seven birdies for the second straight day and shot a 6-under 66 to build a four-shot lead in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
He is at 13-under 131.
Former Kansas University golfer Gary Woodland shot a 72 on the par-70 Monterey Peninsula Country Club course and sits at 3-under 139.