MARANA, Arizona Feb 22 (Reuters) - Tiger Woods clawed back from a poor start to beat Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano one up in Wednesday's opening round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
The American former world number one, seeking his first PGA Tour victory in over two years, lost the first two holes to his opponent and trailed by one after 14 in a fluctuating encounter before taking control.
Champion at this event in 2003, 2004 and 2008, Woods won the 15th hole with a birdie and the 16th with a par before sealing victory with an eight-foot par putt on the 18th green.
The 14-times major winner will face fellow American Nick Watney in Thursday's second round at Dove Mountain's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.
Woods, whose world ranking has slipped from number one to 20th, had been described as "beatable" by Fernandez-Castano during the build-up to this week's event. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)