Skip to comments.Is Tiger Woods facing disqualification at Masters?
Posted on 04/12/2013 11:09:13 PM PDT by FlJoePa
Did Tiger Woods' actions after he drenched his third shot on No. 15 Friday at Augusta result in him signing an incorrect scorecard, which would result in his automatic disqualification from the Masters?
There was no definitive answer and a lot of speculation late Friday. So, while a conclusion has yet to be reached, let's walk through the events in question.
After his round Woods said about his shot into the water on No. 15:
"I went down to the drop area, that wasn't going to be a good spot, because obviously it's into the grain and it was a little bit wet."
So it was muddy and not a good spot to drop. So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards farther back and I tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit."
Two yards farther back.
Woods had just dunked his third shot in the water in front of the green, walked to the edge of the water, walked back to the spot where he hit the shot, and dropped his ball two yards behind the original shot.
He then hit that shot (his fifth) 3 feet from the pin and tapped in for bogey.
So why might he be disqualified?
It has to do with the drop, per USGA rule 26-1:
It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.
If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:
a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or
b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or
Woods apparently didn't choose "a" because two yards (as he said in his post-round interview) isn't "as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played." Although I admit "as nearly as possible" is incredibly vague so I suppose this is still an option for what Woods did.
And the second choice "b" is in question as well (there is a "c" but it doesn't apply here).
According to this explanation by the USGA regarding "b," when a player's ball crosses a hazard three times (which Woods' did -- the front of the water, the back of the water, and the roll into the water after the ball careened off the pin) this is how the drop is supposed to play out:
If a ball last crossed the margin of a water hazard as described in the situation above, it appears that the ball crossed the margin of the hazard three times (e.g., first, the initial time it crossed; second, when it crossed over the hazard onto land; and third, when the ball rolled back into the hazard). So when the Rule states that the ball must be dropped keeping the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is to be dropped, it is referring to the third (final) time. It is the reference point for the 26-1b option only.
Did Woods keep the point where the ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard "directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball was dropped?" It's hard to tell. It looked on TV like the ball shot off to the left, not between where Woods dropped and the hole.
If Woods played an incorrect ball, according to rule 20-7 he should be penalized 2 strokes and would have, theoretically, incorrectly signed his scorecard -- an automatic disqualification.
Whether Woods did anything wrong has sparked enough chatter about his possible disqualification to make us get very familiar with this portion of the rule book.
Woods needs to hire Louie Freeh to conduct an internal investigation as to what went wrong with the shot and who is to blame, after which he can self-impose penalties on himself of no new balls for two years, and donate 20% of his winnings to the wounded and aging caddy foundation. Then he will be good to go.
PGA has nothing to do with The Masters. It’s not a PGA event.
Tiger by his own admission broke the rule. He dropped 2 yards from the place he last hit from. He did it to improve the odds on the shot. HE SIGNED AN INCORRECT ACORE.
In this case there is no wiggle room.
( ex rules official)
The pond on 15 is in no way a lateral hazard.
Doesnt the rule say you can put it FARTHER away (but not closer)
I dont read it as saying you must put it at the first possible spot, no matter how difficult that shot would be
It is preety vague on purpose where, the only thing is that you cannot move it closer to the hole, it gives leaway only farther away
If it's an option for what he did then just what the ... are you bloviating about????
Any class except for baseball is pretty well gone.Might wanna re-think that baseball stuff.
Woods entered the tee box at 15 at 5-under and tied for the lead. He played the hole beautifully, laying up his second shot to around 87 yards. He hit a perfect shot onto the green with a 60-degree wedge, a shot that turned out to be a little too perfect. The ball struck the flag pin and bounced back and into the water hazard. The hazard at 15 is a Red Lateral Hazard, which falls under 26-1c of the 2013-1015 USGA Rules and Decisions.
Tiger had several options for continuing play once his ball got wet. He could play the ball from the hazard, replay the shot from the original position incurring a one-point penalty, or he could take straight line from the hole to where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard and take a drop anywhere behind that point, keeping within that line and incurring a one-point penalty.
In reading the rules it appears that there is a fourth option involving taking a drop on either side of the hazard, taking a drop within two club-lengths of where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard, but there is some confusion as to whether this would be in play at a Red Lateral, or not.
After the round, Woods said: “I went back to where I played it from, but I went 2 yards further back and I took, tried to take 2 yards off the shot of what I felt I hit.’’
Tiger has basically said and is on record that he went 2 yrds back from the original spot and dropped. That seems like clear intent to not be as close to the orginal spot as possible.
You are 100% correct. He played from a wrong place and signed a wrong scorecard. Disqualified.
If Tiger does the right thing and disqualifies himself his standing in the golf world and my own personal opinion would be ‘Bobby Jones like’.
(another ex-rules official)
Exactly - and THAT line would be in the woods to his left. The ball most certainly didn’t kick straight backwards towards him. That’s the option he was trying to take, but he effed up point of entry.
Tigger should have been DQ’d. 2 stroke penalty is bs.
This is a joke. If he had any class, he’d WD. This will not go over well on that tour. At all.
Algonquin J. Calhoun, Esq. is the only man who can figure out these difficult situations. I recommend that he be retained immediately by The Tiger.
Tiger has another pal who was a lawyer, a Mr. Obama. Unfortunately, he be disbarred and unable to appear for him in this matter.
Two stroke penalty only. No disqualification.
He confused the rule during the heat of the moment. It is where the ball last crossed the hazard line, not where it first crossed the hazard line. After hitting the pin, the ball entered the hazard on the left front of the green. He could of backup as far as he wanted but, likely would have been in the left hand rough.
Translation: There are no “rules.”
They could simply call the rule the “star system fudge rule”. Heck, there have been viewers who call in to networks when they see players breaking rules and the PGA takes action.
They didn’t want to throw Tiger Woods out of the Masters. They’d probably do better for themselves in terms of public relations by simply saying what everyone already knows.
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