Woods comes from behind to defeat Holmes in Match Play
Tiger too much for Holmes “I
MARANA, Ariz. — In his 50th meaningful match as a pro, Tiger Woods found himself in strange territory.
He had never faced an opponent who consistently blasted it so far past him off the tee, but playing against J.B. Holmes in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, Woods was first to hit from all but one fairway.
More troublesome was that Woods had never been down by more three holes in match play and come back to win.
“Not like this,” he said Wednesday.
Woods was 4-down through seven holes last year to Nick O’Hern, but wound up missing a winning putt from 4 feet on the 19th hole and losing on the next one. His greatest rally was being 2-down with three holes against Ian Woosnam in the first round of the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in 1998, and beating him on the first extra hole.
“I just kept saying I could win in regulation,” Woods said. “That’s what I’ve always done. I’ve been in that situation a lot of times. It doesn’t mean that you do, but you have to believe that you can.”
He made a believer out of Holmes.
Woods was 3 down with five holes to play when he holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 14th. Then came Holmes’ lone mistake down the stretch, a three-putt from behind the
just kept saying I could win in regulation. That’s what I’ve always done. I’ve been in that situation a lot of times. It doesn’t mean that you do, but you have to believe that you can.”
15th that allowed Woods to lag his 18-footer for birdie, and he was walking to the hole when it dropped, charging up the gallery.
Then came a 20-foot birdie on the 16th to square the match, followed by a 35-foot
— Tiger Woods
eagle to complete his amazing rally.
And when Holmes missed an 8-foot birdie on the final hole, Woods had escaped with a 1-up victory.