"I don't think it really matters where you come from, to tell you the truth," he said. "They're all good players. There are 64 good players here, and they deserve to be here. They've shown that they've played well over the last year to be within that top 64. So you need to play well, just because everybody is good."
Woods is a three-time winner of the Match Play Championship, yet this is the first time he has not been among the top four seeds. He shared the lead at Abu Dhabi going into the final round and tied for third, and he was in the penultimate group at Pebble Beach, four shots out of the lead, when he played with Mickelson and shot 75.
He is hitting the ball well. There are times when he is putting well. He is not yet winning.
As for the "beatable" comment? Woods said such things used to motivate him "quite a bit" when he was younger.
"But as I've matured and gone beyond that, it's just an opinion," the 36-year-old Woods said. "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'll have mastered a pretty good record."
Fernandez-Castano — known as "Gonzo" by the European press — won the Singapore Open last year for his fifth European Tour victory. This is his first appearance in the Match Play Championship.
Even though Woods no longer is not top of the world, the Fernandez-Castano is approaching it the same way so many others have before, that he has nothing to lose.
"It's a funny feeling because being 47th or 48th in the world ranking at the moment, you don't expect to be paired against Tiger Woods," he said. "But those things happen. He's probably not at his best. And you have to look at it that way. Maybe it's a good chance to play good. And maybe I can beat him. That would be a great feeling."
"As I said before, I'm the underdog. I have nothing to lose," he said. "And at the same time, I don't think he's at his best. So it's a good opportunity. If I play well, I can beat him. I know I need to play good. He's a great match-play player."
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