Tiger Woods made a confident response when told of Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano comment about believing he could beat Woods in the first round at the WGC Match Play in Arizona.
Fernandez-Castano said he “doesn’t think Woods is at his best” and “if I play well I can beat him” in a pre-tournament news conference .
When Tiger (3 time winner of this event ) was told of these comments he replied: “I feel exactly the same way as he does. I feel he’s beatable, too.”
In his last two tournaments Woods has failed to capitalise on potentially winning positions.
He was beaten comfortably by England’s Robert Rock in Abu Dhabi and at Pebble Beach shot a final round 75 in the company of Phil Mickelson, who surged to victory with a final round 64.
“The past Sunday was awful,” admitted Woods, who knows this week’s 18-hole knockout tournament can generate a surfeit of shock results.
“Any guy can win any match. We’ve seen that over the years,” Woods said. “That’s what makes it interesting for us players – and I’m sure for the fans as well.
“You can see guys go out and play well and go home. You don’t always have the marquee names on the final, but that’s the nature of the format.”
In the event of a McIlroy victory, Donald would need to reach the third round to remain number one.
A Westwood win would take him back to the top of the rankings if Donald does not reach Saturday’s quarter-finals.