Tiger Woods Receives Two-Shot Penalty for Illegal Drop, Will Not Be Disqualified

daily_blend_400On Friday afternoon, Tiger Woods‘ third shot on the No. 15 hole hit the flagstick and bounced into the water. The golfer dropped a new ball, took a one-shot penalty and kept playing.

But Woods may have made an illegal drop, which would have resulted in a two-stroke penalty. Woods signed his scorecard with a one-stroke penalty, and if it’s determined to be an illegal drop, would result in automatic disqualification from the Masters.

“I went down to the drop area,” Woods said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “That wasn’t going to be a good spot, because obviously it’s into the grain, it’s really grainy there. 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 further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit. And that should land me short of the flag and not have it either hit the flag or skip over the back.”

According to USGA’s rulebook, Woods seemed to combine two different rules for “Relief For Ball in Water Hazard.”

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5)

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped

Woods admitted he dropped the ball two yards further back, which isn’t “as nearly as possible” and he also didn’t appear to drop his ball in a direct line between the pin and the spot where the ball hit the water. Woods has never been disqualified from a tournament.

Update 9:34 a.m.: Woods has been assessed a two-shot penalty for his illegal drop and incorrect scorecard, according to a statement made by the Augusta National Golf Club.

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