- Vladimir Putin orders military to boost presence in Arctic
- Brooklyn, N.Y.: ‘Lesbian capital’ of the Northeast
- Elian Gonzalez: It’s America’s fault that my mother died
- India top court rules homosexuality is illegal
- Aaron Hernandez, ex-Patriot, on prison life: ‘I’m way less stressed in jail’
- Man pulled from water believed to be disgraced D.C. cop
- Kabul airport hit by suicide bomber who targeted NATO gate
- Space probe on course to land on mile-wide comet
- New budget accord saves $23 billion — after $65 billion spending spree
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
Tiger Woods gets a reprieve in the Masters
AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - Augusta National kept Tiger Woods in the Masters on Saturday, saying it would be “grossly unfair” to disqualify him for a rules violation that club officials didn’t immediately recognize.
In a bizarre twist to a complex case, it was a television viewer’s phone call that ultimately spared the world’s No. 1 player.
The viewer questioned the way Woods took a penalty drop after his wedge into the par-5 15th hole struck the flag stick and bounced back into the water. Woods dropped the ball two yards behind where he had hit his previous shot, a violation.
Fred Ridley, head of the Masters competition committees, said officials reviewed the video of Woods‘ drop and found nothing wrong, so they didn’t bother talking to Woods before he signed for a 71 in the second round, leaving him three shots behind.
It was only after Woods explained in interviews why he took that drop _ to land short of the pin _ that prompted another call to the club and led to another review. Woods ultimately was given a two-shot penalty Saturday morning, turning the 71 into a 73. But he was not disqualified because of a revised rule (Rule 33-7) that allows players to stay in the tournament if a dispute was based on television evidence.
Even though Woods was guilty of not knowing the rules, Augusta National took the blame for not alerting him of a potential violation pointed out by a TV viewer.
“Our committee had made a decision and Tiger, although he didn’t know that decision, he was entitled to have the benefit of that decision when he signed his scorecard,” Ridley said. “And to me, it would have been grossly unfair to Tiger to have disqualified him after our committee had made that decision.”
Woods came to the course at 8 a.m. _ nearly six hours before his tee time _ to review the video with club officials.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Woods said he was unaware he had violated the rule. Players can take a drop as far back as they want on a line from the hole to where it crossed the hazard, unless they choose to hit from the original spot. Then, they are to drop as close as possible to the previous shot.
The possibility that Woods might face disqualification caused a bigger buzz than any shot at this Masters, especially one day after 14-year-old Guan Tianlang was penalized one shot for slow play, which nearly caused him to miss the cut.
But this was Tiger Woods, No. 1 in the world, the biggest draw in golf. He had won two straight tournaments coming into the Masters and was the overwhelming favorite to win a green jacket for the first time since 2005 and end his five-year drought in the majors.
“At that point, it was either no penalty or a two-shot penalty,” Ridley said. “But disqualification (Saturday) morning was not even on the table.”
Rule 33-7 was revised two years ago to account for TV viewers calling in violations that the players might not know until after they have signed their cards. If no one had called in, Augusta National would have had no reason to review the drop. But after Woods implicated himself with his post-round comments, and the club had reviewed the drop and assessed the two-shot penalty, he would have been disqualified.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- New budget accord saves $23 billion -- after $65 billion spending spree
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Gov't Motors: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $15 billion loss for taxpayers
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- EDITORIAL: The shake that shook the world
- LAMBRO: The dark lining to the silver cloud of Obamanomics
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Helping the YOUniverse conspire on your behalf.
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow