Tiger Woods’ opening-round opponent says ‘he’s beatable’

You have to love guys like Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Most golfers -- with the exception of Stephen Ames -- wouldn't dare call out one of the greatest match-play competitors in the history of the sport just days before a head-to-head battle on the course.

You just don't talk trash when you're the underdog. There are rules about these sorts of things, you know. But the Spaniard didn't get the memo, telling the gathered media on Monday that Woods was "beatable."

"I think he's beatable," Fernandez-Castano said. "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 best game and hope that he doesn't play his best."

Gulp. After talking about his chances against Woods, Fernandez-Castano went on to say later that he didn't think Woods "was at his best." Now I'm all for confidence in golf, but based on what's happened in the past when guys have trash talked Woods, it would have made a lot more sense for the Spaniard to stay low-key and go for the upset on the course.

[Video: Tiger Woods talks about his putting, match play format]

Woods, of course, responded on Tuesday by saying, "I feel exactly the same way as he does. I feel he's beatable, too." Even though he claimed the comments wouldn't light a fire under him as they maybe would have in the past, you have to believe there will be some added motivation when he steps on the first tee Wednesday -- and the last thing you want to do is give Tiger Woods another reason to send you home with a 9 and 8 parting gift.

There's always a chance Fernandez-Castano could back up the words and look like a genius on Wednesday afternoon. But if he doesn't? Well, he'll go down in the books as just another trash talk wannabe with some serious chutzpah.

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