Tiger Woods, fresh off a disappointing second round 1-over 73 on Friday at the Dubai Desert Classic, joined his friend Mark O’Meara for a golf clinic for kids and ended up being schooled -- by a six-year-old.
The small fry wearing a green Masters cap was completely undaunted by the two Augusta champions and stands crammed with onlookers at the driving range at Emirates Golf Club. The youngster put on a ball-striking display that had Woods, O’Meara, and the bleacher creatures cheering in admiration
After the boy told O’Meara he was six, Woods did some quick ciphering.
"So by the time he’s done with high school, I’ll be on the Seniors Tour," Tiger quipped about the future European Tour star with a waggle that Jason Dufner would envy. "He’ll be a pro and I will be in a cart."
The red-shirted shaver smacked an iron down the fairway, as cameras clicked, the throngs cheered, and the day’s instructors insisted on sharing a couple celebratory high-fives with the young lad.
"Hey, hey!" Woods said after the wee golfer tapped palms with O’Meara and made to leave before turning back to favor Tiger with a slap.
(Video: Bernie McGuire)
Woods kicked off the clinic with some advice about spine angle and a bit of self-deprecating humor. After O’Meara noted that Tiger, as "the best player in the world has won all these tournaments around the world ...," Woods interjected with a reminder that he shot 79 last Saturday at Torrey Pines.
"And I have to tell everyone here I made a sweet 10-footer not to shoot 80," he joked, according to Bernie McGuire, who recorded the action.
Perhaps Woods picked up a few tips from his young protege or took the good vibes from the range session into play because he improved his score by three shots on Saturday, shooting a 70 to get to 5-under and a tie for 37th.
His aim off the fairway and work on the greens improved, as he hit 13 of 18 greens in regulation and needed 29 putts, though three of those came on the final hole. Woods still struggled with his driver, finding only seven of 14 fairways.
"I wasted a lot of opportunities out there today," Woods said after his round, which put him 11 strokes back of 54-hole leader Stephen Gallacher. The defending champ fired a brilliant 63 to moved him one up on Rory McIlroy.