February 20, 2012

Tiger to face Fernández-Castaño in Match Play

Fifth-seeded Tiger Woods will oppose 12th-seeded Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano on Wednesday in the first round of the $8.5 million World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Ariz.

The top-three seeds in the Sam Snead bracket are Lee Westwood (1), Webb Simpson (2) and Bill Haas (3), the latter the winner of Sunday’s Northern Trust Open.

This marks Woods’ 11th appearance in the event. He has an overall record of 32-8.

Fernandez-Castano plays on the European Tour and had a good season in 2011, winning the Barclays Singapore Open.

Woods, a three-time winner of the event, was a first-round casualty last year to Thomas Bjorn, losing on the 19th hole. It marked only the second time Woods had dropped a first-round match, the other coming against Peter O’Malley in 2002.

The 36-year-old Woods, whose previous victories came in 2003, 2004 and 2008, owns the Accenture Match Play record for matches played (40), matches won (32) and most appearances in the finals (4). He captured a tournament-record 13 consecutive matches from 2003-05.

Woods has excelled in WGC events, winning a record 16 titles. In addition to the three match-play crowns, he has collected seven Bridgestone Invitationals and six Cadillac Championships.

Woods will be looking to continue his good play in 2012. He has contended in both his starts, tying for third in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the European Tour and for 15th in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour.

First place in the match-play championship is $1.4 million.