Tiger Woods, the favorite at this year’s Masters Tournament, has been assessed a two-shot penalty for an illegal drop he took in the second round on Augusta’s 15th hole.

Woods third shot on the hole, a par 5 with a water hazard in front of the green, hit the flagstick on the fly, causing it to ricochet into the water hazard.

Woods had three options after his ball entered the water hazard, which was a yellow-staked hazard (not lateral):

  1. Replay his shot from “as close as possible” from the original location.
  2. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the spot where the ball crossed the hazard between the hole and the spot where the ball was dropped.
  3. Play from the designated drop area.

Woods chose not to play from the designated drop area, but rather to drop his ball two yards behind the original location of his shot — a decision he discussed with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after the round.

Because Woods’ ball last crossed the hazard on a different line than where his ball originally crossed the hazard, Woods’ drop — two yards behind the original spot — was illegal.

Instead of disqualifying Woods, or Woods removing himself from the tournament, Masters rules officials have assessed Woods a two-shot penalty under a clause that gives rules officials discretion over infractions committed after a player has signed his card.

Click here to read the official statement from Masters Tournament headquarters.

Tiger took to twitter to make his own statement known at 11: 55 a.m. EST in a series of five tweets.

Tiger Woods will begin his third round at 1:45 p.m. EST. He is now 1-under (instead of 3-under for the tournament), five shots back of leader Jason Day.

Click here to see what people are saying in the “Tour Talk” forum.

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79 COMMENTS

  1. You know what I dont get? Tiger literally hit the flagstick… This means that the line of the flagstick, the point where his ball crossed the water hazard AND the point from where he played his third shot on hole 15 is exactly the same line as the line on which he can drop his ball behind the water hazard and moving back as much as he wants?

    Is this a stupid question or should Tiger not have been penalized at all??

  2. The committee made the ruling, they reviewed it later, after Peres conference and a call in they reviewed it more. These crazy runs are hard enough to keep straight, and they needed all this help and more hours to interpret. Yet, Tiger is to make the decision that moment. Committee made the decision, I don’t agree with Brandle, I agree with Frank Nobilo. He’s the correct one. Shame the master for not having rules officials with each group. The smallest major field and the they do not have outside rules officials.

    The penalty has been issued but there is one solution to satisfy me, GO EL ‘ PATO!!!

  3. He didn’t know he broke a rule. Rule 33-7 leaves it up to the commitee to call BS on whether he knew or didn’t know he was breaking a rule. They didnt call BS on him. Done.

  4. Third party complaints exist and this situation proves it. There was a rule violation and a penalty was assessed, an exception was granted per the rules. There is support from the players of the application of these rules. If Tiger goes on to win he did so playing and beating the field. He is deemed eligible to compete per the governing body. Guan’s penalty is a bigger tragedy.

    • Well said shug! And for those who keep talking about the post round interview and tigers comments. He clearly says he moved back to yards, but it was cause he thought he was acting under the rules that he could move back. Not in the intent to cheat. Even the Davis ferehty was commentating, and was unsure on this options. And you can clearly hear as he speaking. It wasn’t intentional, but of course if he does happen to win. There will be those who think he didn’t deserve to be there.

      • Now lets see….”he clearly says he moved back to yards, but it was cause he thought he was acting under the rules….”. 1) I have not seen on any post interviews, or for that matter any interviews where Tiger is quoted as making this statement. 2) The last time i checked, it is the golfers responsibility to know precisely the rules of golf….esp at this level! 3) As to intent….Tiger specifically stated he moved back 2yds to accommodate the flight pattern of upcoming shot he wanted to hit. As to final outcome and “rules committee” opinion….you be the judge!!

  5. I think the game of golf as a whole needs to be simplified. The fact that the USGA rulebook reads like the tax code and that a rules official is needed for each group of experienced professional players in a tournament tells me it’s time the whole thing needs to be reevaluated.

  6. Maybe Tiger should be DQ’d but I would like to ask the question why is Vijay Singh playing in the masters after admitting to taking drugs, no DQ for Vijay. Seems like golf is full of double standards…

  7. Can someone explain me why the ball didn’t cross the hazard on the same line? Because he moved back a couple of yards and was coming on an angle? Seriously?!? The 2nd ball landed whithin 10 feet of the 1st ball landing spot (the flag).
    What happens if he drops the ball in the same spot where he hit his 1st shot from but pushes the ball 20 feet to the right? It wouldn’t cross on the same line either…

    • Lobin the rule is where the ball last crossed the margin i.e where it crossed AFTER it hit the flag i.e way to the left of the point he played from, he considered that apparently but the lie would have been terrible. The rule is the ball must be dropped on a straight line keeping the point the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard and the flag. It doesn’t mean the next time you hit it that it has to cross the same point :-)

  8. Mario, I’ve been reading your comments and I strongly disagree. Refering to the Dustin Johnson’s incident isn’t a good comparaison. Dustin wasn’t DQied. He was assigned a 2 stroke penalty before signing his card, which put him outside of a playoff with Kaymer and Watson. And his case is totally different since he thought it wasn’t a hazard because of all the fans stepping in the “bunker”. Poor job by the rule official and poor job by his caddy (Tiger’s caddie…).
    When that whole sad story happened, the rule 33-7 didn’t exist. Now it does. Should he withdraw because other golfers in the past, prior to the 33-7 rule, got DQied? Eeehhhh… NO!
    AND, the rules official reviewed the play before Tiger signed his card and declared there was no penalty. I read that they changed there mind after someone called because after hearing Tiger’s comment on the play.

  9. Since we are “following the rules” let dq all the player who have won with long anchored putter! That following the rules!

    • The point is that is not a rule, so they haven’t broken it. Tiger broke a very simple rule that anyone who plays golf should know then admitted that it was his intention to do so on TV.

      • And Gary is absolutely correct; Tiger indicted himself w/the post round interview….clearly stating what his thinking was PRIOR to the 5th shot. He is on record as wanting to give himself an additional 2yds with the drop for execution of the upcoming shot. Now…determining the facts, and putting timing of those facts in conjunction w/intent of the player….that becomes the essence of this discussion.

  10. I never liked the idea of being dq’ed for something you did not know you did wrong, but there is no precedent for how this 2-shot penalty was handed down instead of a dq. A rule is a rule for a 14-year old kid, but Tiger apparently is bigger than golf and gets treated differently.

  11. If Tiger is not disqualified at this event, then Roberto De Vincenzo should have won the Masters in his times instead of being disqualified for signing a wrong scorecard.
    Really a bad move… What a shame for the entire movement of Golf!!!!

  12. A rule is a rule; I agree with Ryan M. & Forsbrand. It’s the people that call in, incorrect scorecard (why have them anymore?) ohh, that leaf moved, etc, etc. It’s that finky attitude that has led to the decline of golf. The purist say that shouldn’t be considered. Well if that was the case, then Augusta, USGA and PGA wouldn’t be teaming up to promote junior golf. If that wasn’t the case, the PGA wouldn’t have gone against the USGA/R&A on belly ban. The committee rendered its decision, based on the revision of the rule.

  13. I like how people here think they are more qualified to make a decision than the rules committee at the Masters.

  14. This is for The Masters rules committee and Tiger Woods. I am unsure if this has been said but:

    What would Robert Tyre Jones, Jr. have done?

  15. Hey Bob S, maybe u shouldnt make statements like that when u dont no what ur talking about. The tournament is run by Augusta National and not the PGA and they do make the decisions with regards to rules infranctions, get ur facts straight before u make comments like that.

    • Jay….you sir need to get your “facts” straight; not only does the Masters and officials of Augusta National run this tournament in conjunction with the official rules of golf as established by the USGA/R&A/PGA…..but that was not the MAJOR point that i was addressing! You initially stated, and for the 2nd time i will quote, “Augusta has discretion over the rules….”unfortunately for your position, you sir are clearly WRONG!!

      • When is the whole calling in penalties going to stop. I can’t believe that golf still allows this to happen. When was the last time I could call into a football or baseball game when they made a obvious bad call. Oh that’s right you can’t and it is taking away from this great game. In every sport there is going to be mistakes made that’s why we all watch and love live sports. Since when is it our responsibility to change the outcomes the athletes are competing in real time and we are able to call in long after they are done and gone home. Next time that pitch is called a strike I want to be able to call 6 hours later and have them change it to a ball. These guys play a game we can only dream about and rules officials follow them around so we should not be able to affect the outcome.

        • Agree with Dale W. This call-in B.S. should be stopped! Secondly after the rule officials reviewed the video and made the decision that he made a legit drop, it should stop there! Regardless of what tiger or any player says after the call has been made! In what other sport do the officials review a call, make a decision and then the next day decide to change their mind and implement a penalty? The answer is NONE! And don’t even get me started on the penalty they gave the 14 yr old even though its broke at every event by several players and hasn’t been used in the late 90’s. Ridiculous!

          • Adison: They tried to protect Tiger from penalty, then when Tiger spoke of his drop they knew they no longer could protect him as he pretty much bluntly said I broke the rules on tv..

        • In baseball, football, basketball etc. there are refs, or umps that are in charge of the game, (time, penalties, strikes and balls etc) in golf its up the golfers or fellow golfers to govern themselves and as I see it, all people watching are a part of fellow players. I believe Judgment calls are up to the players and fellow competitors, but blunt rules violations are everyone’s call. Golfers unlike any other sport are not playing to bend the rules or violate the rules…

          • Your logic is faulty. The BS about golfers calling on themselves started at a time when there was no tv, was no media, was no crowds and people could cheat with impunity. And at that time balls were of feathers. There is ample opportunity for professional golf to use referees to call a penalty at the time on a player. Every other sport has referees and when they make a mistake such is life. Game stands. The baloney about golfers call penalties on themselves means we let jerks call in from their couch and change the results is another dumb rule that hurts the popularity of golf.

        • This was not in any way related to people calling in Tiger called it himself at interview!
          The rule 33 changes were brought in to stop players being DQ’d for breaking a rule they could not have been expected to know e.g. a ball moving imperceptably that was only seen by the HD camera that sort of thing not to allow the penalty to be ducked by a guy who broke the rule on purpose because he got it mixed up. The rules about how to drop from a water hazard are very simple it was a school boy error and the rules should be applied, if he wasn’t sure he should have asked.

  16. Wow. This happens way too often for him. Shouldn’t he be calling the rules officials over more often? Wasn’t there that sandy lie thing? If he calls them over then it’s their responsibility not his. Guess a stroke or two doesn’t really matter to him in his mind. Don’t even understand why he thought that would even be ok. There should be a 5 foot radius where the ball enters the water where he could drop. Doesn’t make sense for him to have to hit across the water again when it rolled in it from closer to the pin.

    • Agree completely; given this whole round of golf by all participants was off the charts from time perspective…..it would not have been causing anymore substantial delay to have sought out a rules official and let him/her make the decision as to proper drop point!

  17. This is horse donk. The public shouldn’t be policing the players! Besides, this the masters,there should be a rule official with every group! Had it not been for the public he wouldn’t have been penalized. His intent, wasn’t to take advantage. Under the the hd, rule, he has the right to dq, himself. But how many player unknowingly break a rule, and are penalized because they are not on camera!

    • First off lets not blame the camera’s if it wasn’t for the cameras Tiger Woods wouldn’t be a Millionare and all Golfers wouldn’t be making millions.. So Tiger and the rest of those players can thank every camera man out there. Second is just because you didn’t know you where braking a rule doesn’t mean you should get away with it. Ask Dustin Johnson about that. This is like no other sport and that’s why I love it!!! Its pretty much in black and white and Tiger has been playing by them for years, he has made millions on top of millions because of this game, so in my opinion he should respect this game and its rules and DQ himself…. He owes golf at least that much. The Augusta officials have a different agenda on why he isn’t DQ’ed and its all about the mighty dollar of ratings..