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Tiger Woods avoids penalty at Hero World Challenge



5-under through 17 holes in his second round at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods was sailing along nicely until his drive at Albany’s 18th, well, sailed right and wound up beneath a bush in the native area.

After considering his options, Woods, from his knees, attempted a quick swat at the ball with an iron. The good news: Woods extricated himself from the trouble. The bad news: Woods’ rules trouble was only beginning.

First, have a look at the shot here, via on Twitter.

As you can see, and as the coverage team suggests, the ball appeared to stay on the club face for an extended period of time. If Woods “pushed, scraped or spooned the ball” he violated Rule 14-1 (a two-stroke penalty).

Secondarily, some questioned whether Woods struck the ball twice in the course of freeing it from the native area, a violation of Rule 14-4 (which is still in effect until the 2019 revision goes into effect).

When Woods entered the scorer’s tent, he was asked to review footage of the incident in conjunction with Tour Officials.

(via PGA Tour on Twitter)

Ultimately, as PGA Tour Rules Official Mark Russell told Golf Channel, Woods wasn’t assessed a penalty, it seems, because all parties believed he intended to make a legal strike. Further, as a double-hit couldn’t be determined by the naked eye, and per the 2017 rule limited the power of later video evidence, Woods was cleared of a breach of Rule 14-4.

Russell cited Decision 18/4 , which states “a player’s determination that the ball has not moved will be deemed to be conclusive, even if that determination is later shown to be incorrect through the use of sophisticated technology.”

He added the following later, via Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on Twitter

For his part, Woods has this to say to Golf Channel’s Steve Sands

“First of all, I didn’t feel like I violated any rules. I felt like I was trying to play a shot. But the rules committee pulled me aside and said ‘Hey, there may be a violation there’ so we took a look at it. I didn’t feel like I hit it twice, it happened so fast and it was such a short motion, but under high def and super slow-mo, you can see it. I made contact twice, but there was no, they’ll explain it to you. There is no violation, I guess, so I shot what I shot today.”

What he shot — after an 18th hole double bogey — was a 3-under 69. Through two rounds, he sits at 2 under, eight strokes behind leader Jon Rahm and tied for 15th in the field of 18.

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  1. Darryl

    Dec 5, 2018 at 6:38 am

    What I love is that the raking story has had zero coverage on the home page here. If Eldrick had hit a 290 yard baby fade out of a pot bunker to a tight cut pin with a 6 iron, all top 5 stories would be about it, three days later, even if he still only finished 17 of 18. But since the actual story doesn’t depict him as Jeebus on a flaming bun, all is quiet.

  2. Tom

    Dec 4, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    He has impeccable character and honesty, just ask Elin or Lindsey. lol!

  3. Kelly Gallagher

    Dec 3, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    All players can feel the difference between pushing the ball away and hitting it. I wish just once he would admit to doing something wrong. But I’m sure that will never happen. He showed with all his lying and cheating he has no morals. Yes he is one great golfer. But that is where it ends.

  4. Bob Jones

    Dec 3, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    They said he wasn’t assessed a penalty because he was intending to make a legal strike.

    I was intending to hit my ball in bounds, so I shouldn’t have to take a penalty because I missed.

  5. Bob Jones

    Dec 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    They said he wasn’t assessed a penalty because he was intending to make a legal strike.

    Well, I was intending to hit my ball in bounds, so I shouldn’t have to take a penalty because I missed.

  6. Dave r

    Dec 3, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Who cares he finished 17th out of 18 players. And yes he hit it twice and then proceeded to rake it out, the call was up to him to make and as usual he did not , can’t recall him ever calling himself on anything it must be great to be so perfect.

    • Tartan Golf Travel

      Dec 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Correct. In 20 years on tour he had never called a penalty on himself. In fact he has argued vehemently when visual proof has been shown to him.

    • Kelly Gallagher

      Dec 3, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      Yes he did push it out. One of many things he has been caught at. He just won’t admit it. Liar,Liar.

  7. Ron

    Dec 3, 2018 at 11:41 am

    All these comments on here about Woods cheating….The determination was made by the officials, not Tiger.

    • Jack Nash

      Dec 3, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      It was Tigers Tourney, I’m sure they’ll penalize him. Kinda like years ago at the Masters where he “wasn’t” penalized for an obvious infraction on 15 with the “yellow” staked area.

  8. CJ

    Dec 3, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I believe he got away with a clear penalty. Not on purpose but its still a penalty regardless

  9. Tartan Golf Travel

    Dec 3, 2018 at 8:19 am

    It’s obvious he cheated and it’s certainly Not his first time. Sad to see especially in a hit and giggle.

  10. Tony

    Dec 3, 2018 at 1:13 am

    In my opinion (and as an experienced trial lawyer and long-term golfer I think I bring to bear objectivity and experience) it was a two-stroke penalty for a breach of Rule 14.1.a, which provides that “The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned.” The fact that it was also a double hit (as determined on slow motion television) compounds the offence.

    Any experienced golfer who has been in that position will know when the ball has been scraped or spooned. I can recall several occasions when I have been against a tree with limited backswing and I have genuinely attempted to strike the ball but it has stayed on the clubface resulting in a scrape or spoon. I have always felt it and penalised myself.

    Ruling 14.1.a/4 provides, inter-alia, as follows: “It is possible to strike a ball fairly with a half inch backswing. However, in most such cases the player would be pushing the ball, contrary to Rule 14-1a. In the absence of strong evidence to the contrary, it should be ruled that the player has pushed the ball. In order to strike the ball fairly, it must be swung at with the clubhead. If the ball is moved by any other method, it has been pushed, scraped or spooned. If a ball is fairly struck at, there is only momentary contact between the clubhead and the ball or whatever intervenes between the clubhead and the ball.”

    I note part of Mark Russell’s explanation that you could see the “club [sic-ball] stay on the clubface quite a bit of time”. Why, then, did they not have reference to Ruling 14.1.a/4 — the contact was not momentary and the ball was pushed, scraped or spooned.

    Admittedly the backswing was more than half an inch – but it was only a few inches, and the ball was in sand. The fact that Tiger genuinely attempted to strike the ball is irrelevant. If the motion was a push, scrape or scoop there is a two shot penalty. A compelling piece of evidence against the “first strike” finding by the PGA officials is the fact that, in the motion, Tiger turns his wrist to hood the toe of the club to scrape it in the right direction. Also, I don’t believe a fair strike with such a limited backswing, with the ball in sand, would ever have resulted in the ball travelling as far as it did.

    Finally, all of those who say get over it because the rule changes next year are missing the point that rule 14.1 does not change and has nothing to do with double hits. It is Rule 14.4 which will change from January.

  11. b

    Dec 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Woods purposely RAKED the ball with the clubface!!!

    It was raking just like you would use to rake leaves or rake anything by keeping the object you are trying to move on the clubface or head of the stick.

    If Woods at made a strike (in lieu of a raking motion) the ball would have compressed and bounced (sprung) off the clubface instead of remaining on the clubface as it was raked.

    It was definitely a PENALTY that Woods got away with. BIG TIME BAD RULING!!!

    • geohogan

      Dec 3, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Ball clubface contact is 5, 10, 000 th of a second

      Clearly , in real time, without stop action camera, Tiger raked the ball.

      If Woods “pushed, scraped or spooned the ball” he violated Rule 14-1 (a two-stroke penalty).

  12. Bert Gwaltney

    Dec 2, 2018 at 10:42 am

    1″ back swung usually doesn’t produce a 3′ follow-through, yes he was trying to get the ball out and into the grass, past the sand area. Certainly looks like a swoop and not a normal hit, but he said he make a stroke at the ball, and didn’t believe he hit it twice. OK, but maybe when he viewed the shot on camera, he might have thought of calling the penalty on himself. “I saw the ball move” seems to remember a great amateur making that comment.

    in 2019, golfers will Intentionally strike the ball twice, perhaps with the putter and claim, it wasn’t intentional. This is why a rule for double-strike was put into the Rules of Golf in the first place. A putt that might come up a little short on slow greens could be made with a long follow-through.

  13. Tom

    Dec 1, 2018 at 11:33 pm


  14. Johnny Penso

    Dec 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    You’re in 15th place out of 18. One would think that legacy would triumph personal reward at an event that is almost entirely meaningless within Tigers’ career.

  15. RulesCop

    Dec 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    There are golf pros and there are true, iconic, consummate sports heros. I can’t imagine Arnie, Jack or Jones not owning up to a rules breach, but not Eldrick. That’s yet another reason why Eldrick will never be in their league no matter which and how many wins. You have to have the whole package to qualify……performance and integrity.

    • TWE

      Dec 3, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Ummmm…..please don’t make statements when you don’t know the facts…..Palmer won his first Master after he insisted on playing two balls because he did not get the ruling he desired on an embedded ball rule. I love Arnie, but please don’t spew garbage.

      • Peter McGill

        Dec 4, 2018 at 5:38 am

        You’re allowed to play a second ball in those circumstances. Apples and oranges.

    • Kelly Gallagher

      Dec 3, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Rules Cop you are so bang on. He has no class and that has shone through for years. The greats would have put their hand up and said yes I did that. And taken their penalty. Not him. I don’t care how many wins or majors he has. Just cause you can golf does not make you a stand up person.

  16. Nack Jicklaus

    Dec 1, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I rake my balls too.

  17. Rich Douglas

    Dec 1, 2018 at 1:54 pm


    This isn’t even close, and it doesn’t require high-def replay to discern it. (Lame excuse, Tour officials!)

    How is that any different than swiping away someone’s gimme putt? He used the exact same method you’d use to pull the ball out of there so you could drop it.

    Another example of Tiger being Tiger and the Tour being his best friend.

  18. RulesCop

    Dec 1, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Double hits aside, it was obvious, even a normal speed, that he raked it out. That is a penalty in any year. Shame on Tour officials and so much for Woods ‘integrity’ setting an example for the 1st tee kidz.

  19. David

    Dec 1, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    ANOTHER example of Woods CHEATING again…
    There’s no way in this world anyone can make a pulling motion to the ball with no back swing without double touching/ball sticking on the club face .. and Woods KNOWS that.
    He also KNEW immediately he’d double touched. Anyone else would have called it on himself but not Woods… it shows his total lack of honesty.
    Anyone that’s ever played golf know exactly when they’ve double hit … anyone reading this and feels differently has never played golf.
    And that they let him off without penalty is utterly RIDICULOUS … anyone other than Woods would DEFINITELY have received a penalty.

  20. S&TisKing

    Dec 1, 2018 at 11:32 am

    That wasn’t a swing, that was a swipe!!!

  21. Andrew Wainer

    Dec 1, 2018 at 6:00 am

    He “scoop/spooned” it


    Dec 1, 2018 at 12:06 am


  23. Lovejoy

    Nov 30, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    A player admits to a double hit having seen the evidence and does not call a penalty on himself?


    • Scheiss

      Dec 1, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Exactly. Signed for wrong score, therefore DQ

  24. He Who Remembers

    Nov 30, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Yeah, this kind of stuff reminds me of the EXTRA favorable drop Woods received at the Players Championship……got away with that one too. It took a call from a distinguished senior tour player to make the officials rule Tiger made an illegal drop at The Masters. Cmon, how many time does the tour have to roll over for this guy.

  25. BF

    Nov 30, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    If they were playing under the new 2019 rules, which I know they aren’t, isn’t there no penalty for hitting it twice if it’s unintentional?

    • Bubbert

      Dec 1, 2018 at 8:33 am

      In the new 2019 rules, there is no penalty for unintentionally hitting the ball twice.

    • Rich Douglas

      Dec 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      This wasn’t a case of “hitting it twice” with one swing. This was a scrape. He yanked the ball out of there, not using a clean hit. That is a penalty now, and it will be a penalty in 2019.

  26. dat

    Nov 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Certainly didn’t look like a double hit or a scoop to me in real time. Slo-mo is deceptive and irrelevant here. Officials made the right call.

  27. Brian McGrnahan

    Nov 30, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Its obvious the ball was compressed on the clubface.

  28. Tom

    Nov 30, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Ray Lewis told him to say “I didn’t see nuttin!”

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Viral star, Hosung Choi, set for second start on the PGA Tour



Hosung Choi, the man who has become a viral internet star due to his unique golf swing, made his PGA Tour debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, and the South Korean is set to make his second start this summer, after accepting a sponsors exemption to play the John Deere Classic.

Choi missed the cut on his debut at Pebble Beach, firing rounds of 72-75-77 while playing alongside the likes of Jerry Kelly and Aaron Rodgers.

The 45-year-old won the 2018 Casio World Open at the back end of last year but has been quiet on the golf course in 2019. Besides his missed cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach, Choi has only made two other appearances, missing the cut at the Kenya Open and finishing T12 at the Singapore Open.

Those who have bought tickets for this year’s John Deere Classic in July can look forward to all of Choi’s beautiful eccentricities.


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Morning 9: Nelly! | Ogilvy on Rules changes | Phelps on watching Tiger | Nantz: “Best event I’ve covered”



By Ben Alberstadt (

April 18, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour…
…some actual golf action, to begin…
AP Report on round one of the Lotte Championship…
  • “Nelly Korda took advantage when Hawaii’s tough trade winds took a break.”
  • Korda rolled in the last of her nine birdies at the 18th in a bogey-free round of 63 Wednesday for a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club.
  • “I got here Saturday and I swear I couldn’t even walk because it was so windy,” said Korda, who is making her Lotte debut. “But I like the place. Everyone is really friendly and it just feels good to be here.”

Full piece.

2. Ogilvy on Rules changes
…the always interesting, abundantly informed Australian sounds off…
Writing for Golf Australia…
  • All of which brought me immediately back to the notion that the idea of simplifying rules almost automatically makes them more complicated. That it is what almost always happens when a committee decides something. I actually have some experience in that area, when I was on the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council…”
  • “…There were so many contingencies because a committee was involved. And it seems to me the same thing has happened with this ball-dropping thing. Nobody in the world now knows how to drop the ball properly. So we have a more complex situation than we had on December 31, 2018.”
  • “But it should be so simple. All we have to do is make it easy for a player to get the ball from hand to ground so that the game can continue. It’s that straightforward. But now we have a situation where you have to stand a certain way – you can’t bend your knees – and you have to drop from this exact height; not too low or high. The simplest thing in the world is now complicated.”
Also notable: this statement...”I have to think 99 percent of golfers have never consulted the rulebook on that one and things have been fine as far as I can see. This is really just a pro golf issue. So what is the point in foisting it on everyone?”
3. Phelps on watching Tiger
…how one GOAT got in prime position to watch another…
Tyler Lauletta at Business Insider…
  • On Wednesday, Phelps spoke with NBC Sports about how he wound up at the Masters in the first place, explaining that it had always been a dream of his to attend the tournament, and him being there for Woods’ big comeback win was more luck than anything.
  • “A mutual friend is a member,” Phelps said, explaining how he got his invite to one of the most difficult tickets in sports. “A buddy of mine called me Monday before the Masters. ‘I have a ticket? Do you want to go? I have a plane. Do you want to go?’ I was like, awesome, I’m going to the Masters for the first time.”
  • “As to how Phelps fell into front row seats to watch Woods tee off at No. 16, he says it came down to a helpful strangers that got to the tournament early on Sunday.”
  • “We started walking around the course and ran into a couple of nice people who had gotten to the gate early, at 3:30 a.m,” Phelps said. “They said, if you ever want to come back and sit on 16 with us, we have a couple of chairs. We got lucky, met a super nice guy working there that had some seats set up in some primo spots that we just had some pretty amazing access to.”
4. Even Stevie watched!
…tuning in for his former boss…
TVNZ report…
  • “Writing for Australian outlet the Player’s Voice, Williams says he now concentrated on playing golf rather than watching – until Monday morning earlier this week.”
  • “…I try to keep up with the news and will read about golf – but I just don’t watch it. Ever.
  • “Except for last Monday.”
  • “Fourteen years! It’s almost impossible to believe. And it had been 11 years since his last major – the US Open at Torrey Pines – which he had no right to win thanks to his torn cruciate ligament and fractured tibia.
  • “But that’s Tiger Woods – he does things no-one else could dream of doing.”


5. OWGR points for the Tour Championship
…two sets of books…
Doug Ferguson writes...”The PGA Tour will continue to keep a traditional score, even if it won’t be published, so that world ranking points can be awarded.”
  • “The Official World Golf Ranking board met last week at the Masters and approved a PGA Tour proposal that awards full ranking points based on where players would have finished without the staggered start.”
  • “The No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup starts the tournament at 10 under, with the No. 2 seed at 8 under, and then 7 under, 6 under and 5 under. The next five players start at 4 under, all the way down until Nos. 26 through 30 begin at even par.”
6. “Best event I’ve ever covered”
…says Jim Nantz regarding the 2019 Masters…
The Washington Post’s Ben Strauss quoting Nantz…
  • “I’ve done 34 Final Fours, had Super Bowls, Peyton [Manning’s] farewell. It’s been 48 hours since it ended, and I’d say it’s going to feel about the same 10 years from now,” said Nantz, who has already called this year’s Super Bowl and Final Four in addition to the Masters since February. “It’s the best event I’ve ever covered. And I feel very fortunate to have been in that spot.”
7. DeChambeau’s grip change
…much lighter, but still Jumbo…
Andrew Tursky at on the pre-Masters overhaul…
  • “After a 14-hour range session in Dallas the week before the Masters, Dechambeau made a 75-gram reduction in his oversized JumboMax grip weights in his Cobra clubs. His new grips, made from a different lightweight compound, now measure just more than 50 grams, considered to be a “normal” weight by industry standards, despite their relatively massive size. He also changed from True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shafts – extremely heavy and stiff iron shafts – to Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts, which flex more than his previous gamer shafts.”
  • “Ever since he came on TOUR, DeChambeau used JumboMax grips on his clubs that measured about 125 grams per grip. He now works on his equipment with Cobra’s TOUR Operations Manager Ben Schomin, who says Dechambeau has improved his wedge play since first coming out on TOUR, but lately DeChambeau had struggled to find consistency with the flight of his wedges. The main issues were that spin was inconsistent and they tended to fly too high. For his part, Schomin built him wedges that used weld beads on the heel to help with face closure. While Schomin says it helped, DeChambeau — currently T105 in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens — wasn’t satisfied with his wedge play.”
  • “Schomin and DeChambeau, chasing consistency with the wedges, decided to begin testing different variables. As it turned out, DeChambeau liked the feel of a 50-gram grip, versus his old 125-gram grips, and the new build allowed DeChambeau to flight the wedges lower, and gain spin and launch consistency.”
8. An interesting note on Masters coverage
…how did Molinari set himself up for his water-destined third shot at the 15th?…
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers…
  • “Thanks as always to for charting all the shots televised during the final round of a major. The site confirmed what I believed to be true while being in and out of the Augusta National media center on Sunday: Molinari’s second shot on No. 15 never made it on TV.”
  • “Even after his disastrous double bogey on No. 12, Molinari arrived at the Augusta’s final par 5 tied for the lead with Woods, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Xander Schauffele. So why wasn’t his second shot shown? Well, it was just a layup after a poor drive, but that punchout from the right pine straw proved to be pivotal. It wound up running through the fairway and into the left rough. It should be noted you can see the shot on the Masters digital platforms, which, remarkably, attempted to show every shot from the tournament.”
  • “Although Molinari only had 79 yards for his third, which was shown live, his angle was so extreme that his golf ball caught a pine tree and dropped into the pond guarding the green. A surprised Molinari, who had just one bogey through the first 60 holes of the tournament, never recovered from his second double bogey in four holes. Meanwhile, Woods hit two great shots on the hole to find the green. And two putts later he had the solo lead for the first time all week, a lead he would not relinquish.”
9. Ho Sung mania is coming to the John Deere Classic
…the fisherman’s swing returneth to the PGA Tour…
The tournament announced Chou has been handed a sponsors exemption to the July tournament.
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Meteorologist received death threats for interrupting Masters coverage during most-watched morning golf round of all time



Tornados brewing in the Georgia area meant an earlier start than usual for the final round of the Masters, and one CBS46 meteorologist was to receive death threats for interrupting coverage of the event to update residents in the area of the conditions.

Ella Dorsey took to Twitter on Sunday to report not just the vile abuse she was receiving, but also the importance of the work she was doing which cut into local Masters coverage.

Per The Weather Channel who spoke to local experts, who while being prepared for the backlash in interrupting the coverage to warn residents, were stunned by the level of abuse of some. On the subject, station news director Steve Doerr said

“The venom around this was insane, even by social media standards.”

CBS released its viewing figures for Sunday’s morning round, with an average of 10.8 million viewers tuning in to watch Tiger Woods claim his fifth green jacket. That total bested the 8.56 million number, according to Nielsen data, from the 2000 Open Championship which previously held the morning record.

According to CBS, the broadcasts viewership peaked between 2.15 and 2.30 ET with 18.3 million tuning in.


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19th Hole