Tiger Woods will face Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in his first-round match on Wednesday in the WGC-Accenture Match Play at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.
And while the 36-year-old Woods, owner of 14 major titles, would seem to have the edge on his opponent, Woods isn’t taking anything for granted.
“Anybody can win any match,” Woods said. “Anybody can beat anybody at this level.”
Tiger knows difficulty of the course at Dove Mountain as well as anybody. He has twice lost in the first round at the Match Play. Last year he lost in 19 holes to Thomas Bjorn as Woods struggled with his golf swing. In 2002, he was beaten 2 and 1 by Peter O’Malley.
Given Woods’ past early exits and that his game is still a work in progress, Fernandez-Castano seems confident.
“I’m the underdog, I have nothing to lose,” the 31-year-old Spaniard said. “At the same time I don’t think (Woods is) at his best. So it’s a good opportunity. If I play well I can beat him.”
Woods will have contend with top-seeded Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson and Bill Haas to get into the final four.
Will we ever see the Tiger Woods of old? The guy who showed his emotions and passion on the course. Or has his off the course issues, and public divorce gotten the best of one of our greatest golfers in PGA history. Only time will tell….
Woods will have to win six matches this week to take home his fourth Match Play trophy. Woods is 32-8 in 11 appearances.