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Devil Ball Golf

Tiger Woods ekes out 1-up win over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Tiger Woods / Getty Images

We've seen Tiger Woods play some pretty good golf over the last five months, winning at the Chevron and coming close at Abu Dhabi and Pebble Beach.

Sure, there were a couple of rounds in there that made you scratch your head but for the most part, the positives made you believe Woods had finally turned the corner.

But Wednesday's first round match at the Accenture Match Play? Well, this was 18 holes of golf Tiger will want to forget in a hurry.

After looking relatively solid off the tee at Pebble, Woods was all over the map in his match against Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, a guy who claimed Woods was beatable, continually missing fairways and looking completely lost on the greens for most of the day. But when Woods needed it most on the 18th hole, he was able to get up-and-down for par to close out the Spaniard, 1-up.

The beauty of match play is that you can play some awful golf and still end up winning your match, and that's exactly what Woods did on Wednesday, going 4-over in a three-hole stretch before finishing the day at 1-over.

Woods got the most out of his game when he needed some big shots, and that's the silver lining here, but for the most part, Fernandez-Castano gave the match away with some poor decisions down the stretch that ultimately cost him a spot in the next round.

Despite coming into the day as a major underdog, the Spaniard looked in complete control after rolling in birdie putts on the first two holes to take a 2-up lead, but when the pressure started to go up a couple notches on the back nine, Fernandez-Castano couldn't produce.

The good news (and there wasn't much) is Woods is moving on to the next round to face Nick Watney, and that's really all that matters in match play. However, if Woods brings the same game to the course on Thursday, chances are pretty good we won't see another fist-pump from the former No. 1 for at least another week.

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