Woods takes first round lead

Dubai, January 31:

Tiger Woods picked up right where he left off last week — at the top of the leaderboard.

Woods, who won the Buick Invitational on Sunday by eight strokes, shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Eleven players, including Miguel Angel Jimenez and Abu Dhabi Golf Championship winner Martin Kaymer, were tied for second at 67. Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and defending champion Henrik Stenson were tied with 10 others a further stroke behind.

Woods said he played better in Dubai than he did last week at Torrey Pines. “I had two good days of practice the last couple days and started to hit the ball a lot better than I did last week,” said Woods, who won here in 2006.