Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer Battle in the Dubai Classic

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIFebruary 9, 2011

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 08:  Lee Westwood of England the World's No 1, eyes Tiger Woods of the USA during the Challenge Match for the 2011 Omega Dubai Desert Classic to be held on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club, on February 8, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Not only are the top three ranked golfers in the world all playing in the Dubai Classic this week in the United Emirates, but they are all teeing it up together for the first two rounds.

Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer are grouped together at the Emirates Golf Club on Thursday and Friday. Kaymer has never played in a grouping with Woods before.

Woods has won at the Emirates Golf Club twice before, in 2006 and 2008. He didn't play in the 2010 event.

Tiger is looking forward to the grouping with Westwood and Kaymer.

"It's fun," Woods said on Wednesday. "The last time I played in a pairing like this was the U.S. Open in 2008; the top three guys and we had a lot of fun. It was fun competing and playing in the group. It think tomorrow will be the same."

Westwood feels the same way. "It is a fantastic draw for the tournament and the people watching," he said. "I think that's what people like to see.... I don't think it's ever happened on the European Tour."

It has actually been 17 years since it happened.

Martin Kaymer recently passed Woods in the World Golf Rankings. Westwood is one, Kaymer two and Woods three.

"We'll see how long it takes him to overtake me again," Kaymer said, perhaps expecting it may happen in Dubai."

"Of course I've met him," Kaymer said. "But I've never played with him. It will be nice."

Phil Mickelson, tied for fourth on the list with Graeme McDowell, is playing on the PGA Tour this weekend at the AT&T Pro Am.

During his practice round on Wednesday, Tiger spent a lot of time working on his putting and chipping. These seem to be the two things hurting him the most as he continues to work on overhauling his swing with coach Sean Foley.

This often happens to golfers when they spend so much time on the swing; the short game gets neglected.

"The greens are running very true," Woods said on Wednesday after his practice round. "We'll see what happens as the tournament progresses; see if they dry out or not because they have the potential of being pretty firm."