From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Euro Tour one-ups competition across the pond, pairs top three in Duabi

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As the final leg of the European Tour’s desert swing, the Dubai Desert Classic has been known in recent years to draw the game’s best players to the UAE for one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the early season.

While the field alone is reason enough to watch, the European Tour decided to add a little more intrigue to the event by pairing Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood, the top three players in the world rankings, together during the first two rounds of the event. As ProGolfTalk noted, it will be the first time since the first two rounds of the 2008 U.S. Open that the top three players in the world have paired together in the opening rounds of a tour event.

Truthfully, this is something the PGA Tour probably would have done at some point — if all three players had been Stateside for a non-major. But with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer opting for full-time membership on the European Tour, the chances of that happening were slim-to-none.

Taking a look ahead at the pairing, there is are some serious question marks about two of the three players in the group. Kaymer’s two starts this season produced a win (Abu Dhabi) and T28 finish, so he’s probably the most in-form golfer of the bunch. At the time, he could be the top golfer in the world.

Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods, on the other hand, have had very questionable starts to the season. Woods’ only start at Torrey Pines was a mixed bag, while Westwood has only a T64 and a missed cut in his first two tournaments of the year.

No matter how good or bad the three are playing, the first two rounds from Dubai should still be the most highly anticipated of the season.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

02/08/2011 at 11:37 am

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