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)
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)
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.