After backspin from a perfect approach shot on 15 that landed near the pin sent the ball to a watery grave, Tiger Woods was fortunate to save for bogey on Friday. However, his bogey was changed to a triple bogey after his drop was later ruled to be illegal. The New York Daily News broke down Woods' error.
As Woods later explained: "I went down to the drop area, that wasn't going to be a good spot, because obviously it's into the grain 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 farther back and I tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit."
Woods then violated U.S. Golf Association rule 26-1, which dictates in part that the drop must be done as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played. The rule gives the player another option. He can move the ball farther back, as long as his next lie and the pin are in line with the spot where his ball entered the water. Woods's ball entered the water on the roll back, not on the front end of the hazard, and his new lie did not keep the three points – his drop, the ball's entry into the hazard and the pin - in a straight line.
A viewer had informed the rules committee of this misconduct and the blogosphere crackled overnight with discussion about possible ramifications. Since Woods played an illegal lie, he would in theory be penalized two shots instead of one on the hole and scored a double-bogey 7 instead of a bogey 6. Then, since he signed his card with a 6 on the hole, he could have been disqualified.
At hole #15, I took a drop that I thought was correct and in accordance with the rules. I was unaware at that time I had violated any rules.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 13, 2013
I didn’t know I had taken an incorrect drop prior to signing my scorecard. Subsequently, I met with the Masters Committee Saturday morning..— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 13, 2013
and was advised they had reviewed the incident prior to the completion of my round. Their initial determination...— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 13, 2013
was that there was no violation, butthey had additional concerns based on my post-round interview. After discussing the situation...— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 13, 2013
...with them this morning, I was assessed a two-shot penalty. I understand and accept the penalty and respect the Committees’ decision.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 13, 2013
For real, which one of y'all snitched on Tiger?— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 13, 2013
Augusta Competition Committee Chairman Fred Ridley says they get "dozens" of calls from TV viewers during Masters calling in rule violations— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 13, 2013