Tiger and the penalty

First, really happy for Adam Scott. A well deserving champion.

The new rule about it not being an automatic disqualification if you signed an incorrect card was necessary with all of the TV and call ins.

The drop is a rule that all tournament players know. There is no such thing as line of flight in the rules. It’s keeping the point of entry between you and the hole.

I can’t guess his motivation, but how you drop after hitting it in the water is an auto pilot response.

If you lay the sod or spin back into the water, you know you can move backwards as far as you want. If it deflects in the water, it changes point of entry. Being disoriented because of the bad break doesn’t change that it happens to everyone.

At second stage of Q-school one year I had a chance to make it during the last round and I hit the flag with an 8-iron and I knew to change the angle where I dropped. That bad break had a much more dire affect on my career, yet I automatically knew what to do.

I DQ’d myself from another Q-school one year for a rules violation that no one but me knew about and I could have hidden it with no chance of being caught. I have no sympathy. He should have been out. Ignorance of the rule is the same justification as making an illegal u-turn…it’s no excuse, you still get a ticket.

This was also the greatest caddy blunder since Ian Woosnam’s caddy left the extra driver in and cost him the British Open. He should have known better too.

I had 4 different clients on Sunday say the same exact thing, If it was anyone but Tiger, they’d have a DQ next to their name.




  1. Robert Johansson

    He cheated his wife, he made Robert Jones turn in his grave.
    DQ was a formality if anyone asks me.

    • blacksox

      Agreed. Btw, did Nicklaus ever ignore the rules and create a situation to improve the chances of executing a shot? Also, does anyone remember the 300 pound loose impediment in the desert? How many people did it take to move the rock for Tiger?

    • casvolsmu (@casvolsmu)

      Robert Jones was turning in his grave because there was a Chinese kid and a black guy playing, and not carrying bags. Don’t ascribe super-human characteristics to him. All people have failings. Who knows what Bobby would have done. No one. We do know he wouldn’t have let those 2 play in his cherished tournament.

  2. Mike Divot

    Yes, and it happened ONE DAY after a rigid “rules are rules” application against the kid.

    The kid played his round in 4 hours, yet the leading groups were taking 5½ hours but somehow they aren’t even on the clock?

    Golf Officials: Making the Soft Target a Priority.

    • jaybee

      I second that, especially in light of Day and Kuchar holding up the last two flights-
      also meaning not even being able to keep up with slow Bernhard’s pace two flights in front of them- on the final day without any reproach.

  3. woody

    Bu$ine$$ as usual:

    “1958 Masters, Arnie was forbidden to take a drop by a rules official. After making a double, he decided that he wanted to play a provisional ball and made par. A Rules official and Ken Venturi both told him he couldn’t do that, but he did it anyway, and the Rules committee let him get away with it. Ken Venturi said that Bobby Jones told him later that Palmer should not have been given the favorable ruling.”

  4. Michael

    The reason it wasn’t a DQ is because ANGC looked at it while he still played and declared it a non issue and never asked him about it. They let him sign his scorecard without a single question about it. Then when he said what he did, they opened it back up and realized they made a mistake on their original ruling.

    That’s why he got the nice break and not dq’ed. ANGC needed to right the wrong, but not double whammy him for their error as well

    • northgolf

      Also worth noting is Tiger was open about what he did (he stated it during the TV interview – had he said nothing then there wouldn’t even have been a two stroke penalty) and that is why he was given the two stroke penalty. If the ANGC had asked Tiger about the drop before he signed the scorecard, I am sure he would have stated what he did and been given the 2 stroke penalty before he signed the card.

      The reason Tiger wasn’t DQ’ed was the ANGC made a ruling error which was not Tiger’s fault nor in his realm of control. That it was the ANGC’s error is what made rule 33-7 applicable. If the caller hadn’t called in until Tiger made his comment after the round and the ANGC did not have prior knowledge and a ruling, I think Tiger would have been DQ’ed.

      I am not a particularly great Tiger fan (I have distaste for his personal character), but I think the rules were correctly applied.

      Tiger should have known better; he does seem to have a problem with generous drops (witness Dhubai). As to his caddie, I agree with everyone who thinks he failed to do his job. However, those issues don’t change the ANGC’s mistake which was not ruling his drop wrong when they had the chance while he was still on the course.

    • woody

      The whole scorecard DQ issue is a mess, in general. Viewers calling-in is ridiculous.

      However, that being said, TW took a wrong drop to gain an advantage, and the evidence came out of his own mouth. The result should have been a no-brainer.

      The original decision was based on incomplete information. When the rest of the story was revealed, the original wrong decision was a fixable error. Buh-bye, TW.

      • Michael

        But ANGC never mentioned the entire thing to TW. Had they simply asked him after his round about it instead of Sat AM, this issue would have been done with within 15min of completion. That’s why the rules committee granted him the ability to stick around.

  5. Cog

    Agreed that Tiger’s caddie needs to take some heat here – this is second time in 6 months that Tiger has been penalized for a bad drop. LaCava was also on DJ’s bad in Whistling Straights and didn’t know the local rule about grounding clubs in waste areas. Unacceptable for a Tour caddie… A local public course near me offers caddies (mostly young golfers from area high schools – it’s not a super-formal caddie program) and on MULTIPLE OCCASIONS they have helped me out with the rules! For $100 for a loop they are doing a better job than LaCava at $10000.

    • woody

      What makes you think that LaCava wasn’t a co-conspirator at Augusta? There was a reason why TW dropped where he dropped, instead of where he should have.

      Anyway, what made that situation unusual was that the ball entered on the FAR side. That eliminated one of the usual options. If the ball had entered on the near side, I believe that TW’s drop might have been OK.

      At Whistling Straits, the ruling was that “all sand is a hazard.” That’s pretty much insane. Hazards should be marked or have clear margins. This LINK shows the kind of area that you’re dealing with. Any dirt on the course would probably meet the definition of “sand.” Foot traffic could erode an area and create a “bunker” where one didn’t even exist at the start of play. One more F-U for the rules of golf.


  6. IPM

    Tiger’s words hurt him more than anything. He said “2 yards,” but you go look at the drop it’s barely 2 feet. Obvioiusly he didn’t think he did anything wrong or else he wouldn’t have been so open and cavelier about it. ANGC didn’t think he did anything wrong either initially. But felt pressure to do something after it became an issue.

    • Jimmy P

      Adam Scott won! It was awesome to watch.

  7. k.niska

    Monte, do you think that Tiger should have DQ’ed himself after they gave him the penalty strokes. That was a decision of tournament rules committee, if Tiger would have DQ’ed himself, he would have basically disrespected the decision and told them that he knows the rules better than they do.

  8. Cyd

    eldrick whether knowing the correct interpretation of the rule tried to gain an unfair advantage. In order to avoid embarrassing EW further and avoid embarrassing the tournament the Committee decided to only assess the 2 shot penalty. Giving both the high ground to make a decision of honor.

    Following the committee’s ruling a man of honor would have decided that in the best interest of the game and in accordance with the spirit of the game that he would DQ himself.

    Of course “Winning takes care of everything.” All you need to know about a man who has no honor and his sychophants.

    So many preach fairness but when it comes to their guy fairness or honor are not words they understand. As one guy told me on another blog concerning Woods, its okay if you cheat in life if you are great because everyone else cheats too. So EW and his fans go through life thinking cheating or living a life with no morals and honor is okay because everyone cheats and no one has any honor.

    What a sad way to go through life.


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