MARANA, Ariz. – This has all the markings of a misunderstanding. On Monday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was asked about his impending showdown with Tiger Woods in Round 1 at Dove Mountain.
“It's a good opportunity. If I play well I can beat him. I know I need to play good. He's a great match play player,” he said. “I think he's beatable. Of course I need to play good. That's all I can think about and that's all I'm going to try on Wednesday, just try playing my game and hope that he doesn't play his best.”
In context, Fernandez-Castano’s comments were much more innocent than Stephen Ames’ comments before the 2006 Match Play. Ames, the No. 64 seed, was asked about then-No. 1 Woods’ game and created a controversy when he said, “As bad as he hits it, he still manages to win golf tournaments.”
Following Woods’ Day 1 walkover of Ames he was asked to respond to the perceived slight: “9 and 8 (his margin of victory over Ames),” was all he said.
Although Fernandez-Castano’s comments seemed much more vanilla, Woods seemed to stoke the flames of a potential controversy when he asked about them on Tuesday.
“I feel exactly the same way as he does. I feel he’s beatable too,” Woods said.