Tiger Woods penalized two strokes for illegal ball drop
AUGUSTA, Georgia (CNN) – Tiger Woods was penalized two strokes Saturday after a rules committee deemed he violated one of golf’s ball-drop rules during Friday’s play, an official with the Masters Tournament said.
Woods, a four-time tournament champion, hit a shot on the 15th hole that ricocheted off the flagstick and bounced into a pond. Woods took a drop then bogeyed the hole.
“After being prompted by a television viewer, the Rules Committee reviewed a video of the shot (after the drop) while he was playing the 18th hole,” Fred Ridley, the Augusta National Golf Club’s competition committee chairman, said in a written statement.
At that time the committee determined Woods hadn’t broken any rules, but later met with Woods after he described on television where he stood to drop the ball. Woods told reporters he stood “two yards” behind the spot of his errant shot before the drop. Television replays suggested he was a little closer.
“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,” Woods told reporters Friday.
The rule gives three options for making a drop, one of which is to do so as “nearly as possible” to the site of the original shot.
Officials met with Woods on Saturday morning to discuss the matter and informed him of the penalty.
Woods is now 1-under par, five strokes behind leader Jason Day. He is still scheduled to tee off at 1:45 p.m. EST.
The committee didn’t disqualify Woods for signing an improper scorecard because it made its “initial determination prior to the finish of the player’s round.”