Tiger assessed 2-shot penalty for illegal drop

By
Updated: April 13, 2013

Tiger

Tiger Woods’ hill to climb for a fifth Masters
title just got steeper.

Woods has reportedly been assessed a two-stroke penalty for an illegal drop on
Friday and will start the third round of the year’s first major at 1-under-
par, five shots behind leader Jason Day.

The Masters has not yet released a statement, but various media outlets,
including the Golf Channel and ESPN, have reported that officials have given
Woods a two-shot penalty.

Speculation of a possible disqualification was rampant Saturday morning after
Woods’ penalty drop on the par-5 15th hole Friday came into question.

Woods’ third shot hit the flagstick and rolled back into the water that fronts
the green. He had options under Rule 26-1 that included playing from a drop
area or going back to the original spot and taking a drop from “nearly as
possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.” Woods said
in interviews afterward that he went two yards farther back, which made the
drop questionable.

“I went down to the drop area, that wasn’t going to be a good spot, because
obviously it’s into the grain, it’s really grainy there,” Woods said about his
decision on the 15th hole. “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 further back
and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit. And
that should land me short of the flag and not have it either hit the flag or
skip over the back. I felt that was going to be the right decision to take
off four right there. And I did. It worked out perfectly.”

In the past, Woods would have been disqualified for signing an incorrect
scorecard.

However, a rule change recently enacted protects a player from automatic
disqualification after signing an incorrect scorecard if that player
unknowingly violated a rule. A two-stroke penalty can then be assessed
instead.