The talk of this weekend’s Masters play was not the cool shot by Tiger Woods at the 13th hole. It was his error in round two on the 15th hole. After hitting his ball in the water, Tiger dropped his ball, according to USA Today Sports, “as nearly as possible” to the original shot. However, according to USA Today Sports, in a post game interview, Tiger said that he played further from the point than where he had played his third shot. Such action would constitute playing from the wrong place. The Rules Committee determined he took an illegal drop and assessed a two-stroke penalty.
Here’s the kicker: it was a viewer who caught Tiger’s error. Once the Rules Committee was alerted, they reviewed it, met with Tiger and it was decided that the two-stroke penalty was appropriate. Tiger wasn’t disqualified because of a new rule change two years ago which states that a player, instead of being disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, can be assessed penalty strokes afterward because all the facts concerning the issue were not known when the scorecard was signed. Tiger seemed to agree with the penalty. He tweeted:
“I understand and accept the penalty and respect the Committees’ decision.”
This penalty caused a firestorm of responses from many who thought Tiger should have been disqualified, or withdrawn from the tournament altogether. CBS Sports analyst and three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo said Tiger should “man up and withdraw”:
“Tiger should really sit down and think about this and what it will leave on his legacy. Personally, I think this is dreadful. … That was no intention to drop close to the divot.”
After watching the footage it seems Tiger’s drop was not in violation, however, according to USA Today Sports, “Woods said he wanted to go 2 yards back of the original divot to make sure the ball landed short of the flag, which would constitute playing from the wrong place. Replays show the ball actually was much closer than 2 yards, but nevertheless, Woods’ words prompted Masters officials to further review and discuss the matter with him Saturday morning.”
So, what should Tiger have done? Did he do the right thing by accepting the penalty and continuing to play or should he have withdrawn from the tournament?
Fellow Masters champion and colleague Bubba Watson was more aggravated that it was a viewer, not an official who called in the penalty:
“I don’t even know how these people get a number to call,” he said.
“Obviously they’ve got more time on their hands than I do. I don’t know the number and I’m playing in the golf tournament.
“Nobody calls in during a basketball game or a football game. … They’re definitely not calling balls and strikes during a baseball game.
“Maybe it’s because our sport is so slow, they have time to call in.”
Watson may have some good points, but the point is that the error was called and Tiger Woods made a decision to accept the penalty, stay and play. It doesn’t matter. It seems not matter what Tiger would have done, he would have been criticized. Perhaps some would think he cheats not only in his personal life, but in his professional life too.
Even still, a precedent has been set. Tiger Woods play has broken a ratings record for the Masters on CBS, Keeping Tiger Woods in the game with this controversy may have been a Rules Committee decision, but it was also smart business. Tiger Woods will be watched even more going forward.
Business aside, do you think Tiger Woods‘ integrity is now questionable? Do you think he made the right decision?
What should Tiger have done?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,