AUSTIN (Texas) • Tiger Woods admitted that he did not play his best golf despite being among the winners in the opening round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Matchplay on Wednesday.
The 14-time Major champion trailed fellow American Aaron Wise through 10 holes, but battled back to seal the win when the 22-year-old missed a short putt on the 17th, handing Woods a 3 & 1 victory.
The 43-year-old, however, was less than thrilled with his performance on the first of five days of action at the sun-soaked Austin Country Club in Texas.
“I won the match, but it wasn’t exactly the best of golf out there from both of us. We were both struggling a little bit,” Woods said.
“We gave a few holes away with bogeys and three-putts, and we won a few holes with some good birdies.
“If this was a strokeplay event, we’d be pretty far behind. You just try to beat the guy in front of you and I was able to advance.”
Rory McIlroy had an easier time as the Players Championship winner continued his hot form to rout American Luke List 5 & 4.
The Northern Irishman, who won the tournament under a different format in 2015, birdied his last two holes to finish List off with authority.
“I rode my luck a little bit and I hit some good shots,” he said.
“Luke would admit he didn’t play his best stuff, but I played well.”
In a change in format this year, the 64 players have been divided into 16 groups of four.
All the golfers will play each other in their groups over the first three days, after which the player with the best record in each group advances to the 16-man knockout phase over the weekend.