Tiger withdraws before high winds see play suspended in Dubai

Tiger Woods withdrew ahead of round two of the Dubai Desert Classic and George Coetzee edged ahead of Sergio Garcia before play was suspended early on Friday due to high winds.

Woods, a two-time victor at the tournament, carded a five-over-par 77 in round one and was forced to pull out.

His agent, Mark Steinberg, later told reporters that the 14-time major champion was struggling with spasms and not with the nerve issue that saw him miss 15 months of action.

On the course, the early starters were forced to battle the elements and struggled to get any closer than within three shots of overnight leader Garcia.

However, South African Coetzee was flying at three under thanks to four birdies and just one bogey through his opening eight holes to move to nine under for the tournament.

Garcia had also made a solid start and was one under through five holes before play was suspended as the weather worsened, the high winds so severe that a tree was felled by the 13th fairway.

The European Tour later confirmed that play had been called for the day, with those still yet to complete their second rounds resuming at 7.30am local time.

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