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Tiger Woods (shocker!) cites slow greens for wretched Dubai opener

Breaking News: Tiger Woods hates slow greens.

“Highlights” if you want to call them that.

Tiger Woods, it has been firmly established, enjoys putting surfaces as slick as the proverbial bikini wax. So after a horrible, error-filled first round Thursday at the Dubai Desert Classic, it was hardly a shocker that the struggling superstar took verbal shots at the greens on which he could not hit a cup with a shotgun.

"I left probably about 16 putts short,” Woods said following a birdie-less round that left him one shot north of DFL after the morning wave at the Emirates Golf Club. “I just couldn't get the speed of these things and, consequently, it added up to a pretty high number.”

A 5-over 77, to be precise — his highest score ever in the event he has won twice. Thursday marked the second start in two weeks for Woods, who returned to competition last week at Torrey Pines after a long layoff to rehab his surgically repaired back only to miss the cut.

Unless Woods can get over his loathing of syrupy greens, he’ll miss his second straight cut and have a couple more days to get ready for his next PGA Tour start on Feb. 16 at Riviera.

"I just could not hit the putts hard enough. I left every putt short,” Woods complained about greens on which balls were “rolling perfectly” a day earlier. “What I thought was down-grain, downwind, would be quick downhill and I still came up short. Into the wind, uphill putts into the grain, I put a little more hinge on it going back to try to get a little more hit into it and it still didn't work.”

It’s a familiar refrain from the songbook of the former world No. 1, now ranked a beastly 666th in the world.

Tiger enthusiasts will recall the “greens were slower” tune Woods whistled at Muirfield at the 2013 British Open.

Then there were the “spotty” greens a week later at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill that had Woods singing the blues. Even Augusta National’s sluggish putting areas caused Tiger to serenade the Green Jackets with complaints in 2015.

You get the picture.

As for Thursday in Dubai, there’s no doubt Woods’ putting was way off (to the tune of 33 putts over 18 holes), but there were other issues as well. Like hitting only 11 greens in regulation after finding 10 of 14 fairways on a day when his nemesis, Sergio Garcia, took the early tourney lead with a 65.

But Tiger will have to find some type of work around for the less-than-fiery greens that he so obviously loathes if he stands a chance of making it to the weekend.

“I'll try to figure something out, maybe more lead tape on [the bottom of his putter],” Woods said about a technique he has touted in the past as a remedy for snail-like greens. “Something, a little more weight, do something to try to get some of these putts to the hole.”