Found January 17, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Gettyimage.ashx_url_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f98863887.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d77bfba49ef878921a343b2c87a49d8f574b1ba24fe105fcaba88e970e23457856753a2965e4e538b
Call it a box office flop -- so far. After all the hype, the photo ops with camels and the extraordinary amount of oil money that Abu Dhabi sheiks have spent to lure Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to the Middle East, the verdict is clear cut: The two leading men were awful in their starring roles. The sheiks could have been forgiven for wondering what they had invested in after the way Woods and McIlroy played Thursday in the first round. Woods looked uncomfortable on center stage while McIlroy suffered from stage fright. It was left to the supporting actor Martin Kaymer to shine, but even he forgot his lines at the end. If Abu Dhabi was meant to be a statement of intent from McIlroy, No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and No. 2 Woods on the upcoming season, then they didn't have much to say. McIlroy limped in with a 3-over-par 75, eight shots behind leaders Jamie Donaldson and Justin Rose. Woods posted an uninspiring level-par 72. Kaymer scored 71. This was supposed to be McIlroy's coming-out party, his debut as part of the same Nike family that includes Woods. The Northern Irishman had 14 shiny new Nike clubs in his bag. On Thursday, it was the driver and putter that let him down. McIlroy claimed he was getting more swing speed with his new driver. Maybe so, but it certainly wasn't as reliable. The world No. 1 hit only six fairways all day. Despite that, he had plenty of birdie chances. He just couldn't buy a putt. His 75 is his worst score in 21 career rounds on the Abu Dhabi course. McIlroy's worst finish here is a tie for 11th. He also has a fifth, a third and, in his past two visits, consecutive runner-up finishes. He now needs a good round Friday just to make the cut. "I didn't drive it well and didn't putt well today," McIlroy said. "I'm disappointed. I felt like I could've played better and got a better score." Of course the verdict on the new equipment wasn't entirely negative. It never is when you're getting squillions of greenbacks. "I really liked the ball in the wind," McIlroy said. "It was very stable. The irons were good, and the wedges too. I'm not overly concerned. It was a good day to learn a few things. "When you go out there with new stuff (equipment), you're always going to be a little bit anxious. It's about going out there tomorrow and trying to make the cut." McIlroy looked most anxious on the relatively easy par-4 third hole, (his 12th after starting on the No. 10). He hit his drive out of bounds there on his way to a double bogey. It was one of two doubles he made during the day. The other came at the par-3 15th when he missed the green by 40 yards. He short-sided himself and failed to get his pitch shot onto the green. Missing the cut would be a big blow to the sponsors, but McIlroy seemed resigned to that when he talked about having another four weeks off after this tournament to get used to his new clubs. Woods, of course, is familiar with his equipment. He has been a Nike player for most of his career. The only change this week is a new set of irons in the bag because the grooves on the old ones were wearing away. That's nothing new. Woods said he changes irons once a year. As with McIlroy, Woods' nemesis in the opening round was the driver. He hit only five drives onto short grass all day. The 405-yard, par-4 first hole epitomized his fear with the big stick. Woods hit a drive that would have embarrassed many high-handicappers. He hit an inch behind the ball and watched as it fell short of the fairway. The ball traveled only about 150 yards. Woods' fairway metal approach still came up 20 yards short, and he failed to get up-and-down for par. "My whole game plan was to hit 3-iron or 5-wood on that hole," Woods said. "I changed my game plan and wasn't committed to the shot. I didn't want to hit it. I was really fighting over that tee shot and should have backed off it." In truth, Woods fought the driver all day. "It's tough out there," he said. "These fairways are tiny to hit, and it seems like every hole is a crosswind hole. The rough is deep enough where it's tough to get to the green. It's imperative to get the ball in the fairway." Kaymer outplayed his playing companions all day, but suffered with two drives into water hazards, at Nos. 1 and 9, that cost him dearly. They go out as a 3-ball again Friday. The sponsors will be hoping for Oscar-winning performances, especially from McIlroy. After all, it's what we expect from the wonder boy from Holywood, Northern Ireland.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
BACK TOGETHER

Tiger wants to remarry Elin?

A report says Tiger Woods wants to remarry his ex-wife, Elin, and that he has even proposed a marriage. Is she interested?

These awkward pics of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are all kinds of awesome

Tiger Woods and his newly minted Nike Golf protégé, Rory McIlroy, shared an awkward moment while making a boatload of cash for appearing at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates. During some amusingly conceived photo-op, Woods and McIloy, who were paired together in the first round of the tourney, are poured a drink from a ornate carafe. But what occurred...

Reports Surfacing Saying Tiger Woods Offered His Ex-Wife A 200 Million Dollar Pre-Nup To Re-Marry Him She Wants 350

Professional Golfer Tiger Woods watched his life fall apart when he was caught in a serial cheating scandal when he was married to Elin Nordegren. Now, Woods wants the lady that received a 110 million dollar divorce settlement from him back as his wife. Reports are saying Tiger Woods offered Nordegren a 200 million dollar prenup to marry him again. Woods said if he cheats on her...

Rory McIlroy, Equipment Changes and the PGA

If you’ve been following the golf equipment endorsement changes, which I’m sure y’all haven’t, you’d have heard the news that Nike signed Rory McIlroy for, I believe, a metric ******* of money.  Huzzah!  Let’s celebrate another person’s salary together! I also am sure you’re asking me, “spencer, why in blue **** does this matter?” Well I’ll tell you why, asshole…it...

Head Back To 1934 In This New ‘Tiger Woods 14′ Masters Trailer

Ah, 1934 was a simpler time (trust me, I was there) – no carbon-fiber drivers, extra long putters or mechanically engineered golf balls, just silly pants, silly hats and a ******** of sepia tone. That’s exactly what you get with this new trailer for “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14,” which includes an all-new Masters Historic Edition that allows you to play Augusta in 1934, when...

Tiger takes drop, then drops out

Tiger Woods doesn't miss many cuts in his life, especially as dramatic as the way he missed the cut in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Woods flew home from the Middle East after missing the weekend for incurring a two-stroke penalty for an infraction on the fifth hole, an infraction he didn't even know he committed. Woods carved his drive right of the fifth fairway and found some...

Report: Tiger wants to remarry Elin

Tiger Woods is a single man these days, but he may not still be over his ex-wife Elin Nordegren. According to the National Enquirer, Woods wants to remarry Nodregren and he's offering a huge chunk of change to get her back. The magazine also reports that Tiger even proposed to her over Christmas, getting down on one knee and presenting Nodregren with a ring. Nodregren is reportedly...

Rose takes control in Abu Dhabi

Justin Rose extended his lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday, shooting a 4-under 68 to take a two-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson and Thorbjorn Olesen. A day after top-ranked Rory McIlroy and second-ranked Tiger Woods missed the cut, the fifth-ranked Englishman made his third round look easy. After three-putting on the first for a bogey, Rose had a stretch of six birdies...

Rose, Donaldson lead in Abu Dhabi

With Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods struggling to shake off rust, Justin Rose and unheralded Jamie Donaldson took the spotlight at the Abu Dhabi Championship in opening rounds of 5-under 67.

Tiger Woods’ Ex-Wife Elin Would Take Him Back If $350 Million Non-Cheating Clause in Prenup

Someone isn’t telling the truth. We reported earlier that Woods was possibly dating skier Lindsey Vonn, now a report courtesy of Larry Brown Sports via the National Enquirer is saying that Woods is desperately trying to get his ex-wife Elin back. So, which one is it? I tend to believe the Vonn story more than the Elin story for one reason? The ridiculously stipulations they are...

Tiger Sick of Being Single?

I wrote an article earlier today on the topic for Philly.com and couldn't really believe what I was writing, so I wanted to share with all you Around the Arc readers.You can take a look at the original article here, but everything you need to know is below. Tiger Woods is reportedly sick of the single life and is actively trying to remarry ex-wife Elin Nordegren, according to...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.