Years ago no one would ever trash talk Tiger Woods before a match play event. Woods dominated golfers head to head in his prime but that was long before the injuries and the struggles with his swing. Now Tiger is just another name in the draw for many golfers.
Tiger's opponent for the first round of the WGC Accenture Match Play event February 22, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, called the most prolific golfer in his time, "beatable." Fernandez-Castano said he wasn't intimidated and for most of the match he played that way.
Remember when Tiger owned Sundays? This is not that version of Tiger Woods but Woods made the shots he had to make down the stretch and Fernandez-Castano folded like a cheap tent under the pressure in the end.
No one heard of Fernandez-Castano before the match and after he gave away the match to Woods in the first round we probably won't hear from him again anytime soon. Woods did what he had to and not much more to win and advance but if he plays the second round as poorly as he did against Fernandez-Castano, he won't be long for this match play event he once dominated.
Woods squeezed by Fernandez-Castano 1-up on the final hole and breathed a sigh of relief instead of giving one his patented fist pumps as he walked off the green to fill out his scorecard. Now Woods will face Nick Watney and he will be the decided underdog heading into the match.
Woods only chance in round two is that this is match play and anything can happen in match play. Tiger knows the underdog can never be dismissed and he will be scratching and clawing to get past a better golfer in Watney.
Watney beat Darren Clarke in his first round match and did so in impressive fashion. Watney knocked down three birdies and notched an eagle on the 11th hole, taking out Clarke in 14 holes to move on and face Tiger in the second round.
The biggest upset of the day was the loss of world No. 1 golfer, Luke Donald. PGA legend Ernie Els knocked out Donald and served notice he is not washed up. Els beat Donald 5 and 4 and will move on to the second round. Els would not have played if Phil Mickelson did not decide to take a ski vacation this weekend.
*Todd Jacobs is an avid golfer who attends several PGA tour events a year and follows the PGA Tour on a daily basis.
Yahoo! Sports: Tiger Woods ekes out 1-up win over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
- Tiger Woods