Skip to main content

Woods survives scare to battle into second round of WGC World Match Play

updated 5:12 AM EST, Thu February 23, 2012
Tiger Woods is all smiles after closing out Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in Arizona.
Tiger Woods is all smiles after closing out Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in Arizona.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods battles into second round of WGC Match Play Championship
  • Woods beats Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 1-up in Arizona
  • PGA champion Keegan Bradley powers through with easy win over Geoff Ogilvy
  • World No.1 and defending champion Luke Donald goes out to Ernie Els

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods battled into the second round of the WGC Match Play Championship in Arizona Wednesday with a last-hole win over Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Woods is searching for his first win on the PGA Tour since 2009 at an event he has won three times, but neither player was at their best in a topsy-turvy match.

Fernandez-Castano, making his debut in the elite 64-strong field, birdied the first two holes to go two up before 14-time major winner Woods hit back to win three holes in four.

The American missed a short par putt on the ninth to go two up before his opponent hit back as Woods went double bogey-bogey at the 10th and 11th to fall behind again.

Woods squared the match with a birdie at the par-four 15th and took the lead with a par at the short 16th.

One-up playing the last, Woods had to conjure a miraculous escape from a bunker to salvage his par and close out the match.

He will next play fellow American Nick Watney, who was a convincing winner over British Open champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland by 5 and 4.

"We had some big (momentum) swings," Woods told Sky Sports. "I'm very fortunate to move on."

The big shock of the first round saw world No. 1 and defending champion Luke Donald thrashed 5 and 4 by South African veteran Ernie Els.

Donald was below his best while former No. 1 Els, the lowest-ranked player in the field after being called in when Phil Mickelson pulled out, holed a string of putts to close out the match and progress to the last 32.

Donald could now lose his top spot if Rory McIlroy or Lee Westwood win the tournament.

No. 2 McIlroy beat South Africa's George Coetzee 2 up to set up a clash with Denmark's Anders Hansen, who romped to a 5 and 3 win over South Korea's Kyung-Tae Kim.

Westwood, who lost his No. 1 ranking at this event last year, beat Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts 3 and 1 to earn a match against Sweden's Robert Karlsson -- who like the Englishman has topped the European money list during his career.

U.S. PGA champion Keegan Bradley beat 2006 and 2009 Match Play winner Geoff Ogilvy of Australia 4 and 3.

"I played about as good as I can," said the in-form Bradley, who next faces veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez -- conqueror of his fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

Youngsters Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and Italian Matteo Manassero also went through after beating FedEx Cup series winner Bill Haas and PGA Tour money list runner-up Webb Simpson respectively.

Ishikawa, 20, will next face Martin Laird, whose fellow Scot Paul Lawrie -- winner of the Qatar Open this month and a former British Open champion -- will play 18-year-old Manassero.

England's Robert Rock, who held off Woods to win in Abu Dhabi last month, continued his fine form this season with a 1-up win over Australian world No. 8 Adam Scott to mark his first appearance in a WGC event.

He will next play American Mark Wilson.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
updated 10:12 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
updated 8:02 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
ADVERTISEMENT