Tiger or Cheetah?
April 14, 2013 10:17 AM Subscribe
Controversy struck the exalted Augusta grounds of the Masters golf tournament on Friday as Tiger Woods put himself at risk of disqualification.
posted by fairmettle (71 comments total)
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It all began with a situation in which Woods had the extraordinarily bad luck of bouncing his ball off the flagstick on the 15th hole into the water. Instead of dropping his ball "as nearly as possible"
to it's original position, Woods dropped it a couple of yards back. In an interview after the round, Woods said: "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."
Woods signed his scorecard without assigning himself the two shot penalty the rules of golf require for an improper drop.
The following day, the Masters Rules Committee ruled that Woods would not be disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, justifying it by using a new rule that allows tournament committees to waive rules infractions called in by TV viewers, even though the intention of that rule was to prevent disqualifications based on tiny movements of the ball or sand imperceptible to the golfer but visible on close-up HD shots.
Many in the golf world were outraged
at both the ruling and the fact that Woods didn't withdraw himself from the tournament. Nick Faldo suggested it would be "the manly thing to do."
Observers are already arguing the pros
of the impact this situation will have on golf's fabled sportsmanship in which player's have traditionally called penalties on themselves.
Masters founder Bobby Jones
famously demonstrated his own stand on sportsmanship in the 1925 US Open:
"Jones was not only a consummately skilled golfer but exemplified the principles of sportsmanship and fair play. In the first round of the 1925 U.S. Open at the Worcester Country Club near Boston, his approach shot to the 11th hole's elevated green fell short into the deep rough of the embankment. As he took his stance to pitch onto the green, the head of his club brushed the grass and caused a slight movement of the ball.
[No one but Jones himself witnessed this occur.] He took the shot, then informed his playing partner Walter Hagen and the USGA official covering their match that he was calling a penalty on himself. Hagen was unable to talk him out of it, and they continued play. After the round and before he signed his scorecard, officials argued with Jones but he insisted that he had violated Rule 18, moving a ball at rest after address, and took a 77 instead of the 76 he otherwise would have carded. Jones' self-imposed one-stroke penalty eventually cost him winning the Open by a stroke in regulation, necessitating a playoff he then lost. Although praised by many sports writers for his gesture, Jones was reported to have said, 'You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.'