With the Accenture Match Play Championship beginning on Wednesday, we are reminded of the one guy nobody want to be paired with on day one in years past: Tiger Woods. Any golfer can have a bad day, but Tiger was once the most feared golfer in the world. A date with him typically meant an early flight home. That is no longer the case, which is why his opponent Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is not intimidated.
“It’s a funny feeling because being 48th in the world rankings at the moment, you don’t expect to be paired against Tiger Woods,” Fernandez-Castano said according to the L.A. Times. “But those things happen. He’s probably not at his best. You have to look at it that way. Maybe It’s a good chance to play good. Maybe I can beat him.”
At the moment, anyone on the tour can beat Tiger. If the old Woods shows up, there isn’t one golfer who could take him down. But the new Tiger is different. The new Tiger has shown signs of his old self but hasn’t found consistency in years.
“I feel exactly the same way he does,” Woods said. “I feel he’s beatable too.
“(Trash talk used to motivate me) quite a bit when I was younger. But as I’ve matured and gone beyond that, it’s just an opinion. It’s their own opinion.…What matters is how I go out and play and how I’m progressing in my game. At the end of the day, when I’m retired, I think I will have mastered a pretty good record.”
If it didn’t bother Tiger, he wouldn’t make those comments. One of the most cliche sayings in sports is “you don’t wake a sleeping dog.” Golf is a bit different since it requires players to remain calm and focused, but Woods sounds like he is taking it at least somewhat personally. Time will tell if that is bad news for Fernandez-Castano.Google+