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Woods vows to work on putter after muted Dubai showing

Tiger Woods of the U.S.takes a shot on the 8th tee during the third round of the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai February 1, 2014.
Tiger Woods of the U.S.takes a shot on the 8th tee during the third round of the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai February 1, 2014.

By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Tiger Woods vowed to improve his putting after another lackluster showing at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday extended the world number one's troubled start to 2014.

The 14-times major winner birdied the last three holes for a one-under-par final round of 71 on the Majlis course, giving him an aggregate six-under 282.

But such a score left Woods an also-ran at a tournament where he vied for top billing with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.

"My iron game wasn't as sharp as I'd like, I had seven lip-outs today," Woods told reporters.

"I'm definitely going to work on my putting. My light putting needs to be better than it has been... I'm hitting my lines, I just don't have the speed right."

Woods began brightly in Dubai, racing to four-under after nine holes of Thursday's first round, seemingly showing few ill effects from a dire showing at California's Torrey Pines a few days earlier where he carded 79, the second-worst round of his professional career.

Yet wayward driving and then inconsistent putting saw the American make 10 birdies and eight bogeys over Dubai's final 63 holes as he slipped out of contention.

"I made a quick easy fix to my grip the other day and from then on I drove great," said Woods, who will now fly to Delhi for an exhibition event, his first visit to India, before returning the United States.

"I throttled back a little bit to try to get my ball back in play and just didn't hit it as far. I'm able now to start letting it go - a couple of carries out there were in the 310-315 (yards) range. That's back to where I should be."

Woods also wants to improve with the wedge.

"I still need to do a bit of work chipping out of this rye grass, because I've been chipping out Bermuda and it's a little different technique," he added.

(Reporting by Matt Smith; editing by Josh Reich)

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