After being two over par through seven holes , Tiger Woods clawed his way back into contention with a brilliant eagle three at the 18th hole at the Emirates course in Dubai . Woods finished by holing a six footer for an eagle at the par five 18th but his one under par 71 still leaves Tiger six shots behind Rory McIlroy who set the pace early on Thursday by shooting a seven under par 65 .
Woods playing partners for the opening two days are the world’s top 2 on current rankings , Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer and the pair could not be split , both hitting three under par 69’s to tie for 10th position at the end of the first round .
McIlroy who won this event in 2009 is now the 9/4 favourite with UK bookmaker Bet365 and the 21 year old Northern Irishman told reporters after his round that ” “I’m a more mature and rounded golfer” than when winning here two years ago .
This event is generally won by one of the world’s leading golfers and McIlroy has most to fear from Kaymer and Westwood . Kaymer has already won on the European Tour in 2011 and is quoted at 4/1 to grab his second title of the season in Dubai whilst Westwood who missed the cut last week in Qatar is 7/1 .
Kaymer , Westwood and Woods tee off tomorrow at 8am local time whilst McIlroy has a 12.20pm tee time .
Bet365 have betting available on the outright winner , 2nd round 3 balls and 2nd round match betting .