For those of you who do not know, there is controversy surrounding the Masters and Tiger Woods. Apparently the official assessed a two-stroke penalty for a bad drop Tiger took on hole number 15. That was the hole where he hit the ball well onto the green, it hit the flag, and rolled back into the water. He then took a drop, but did so two yards behind where it should have been. This was deemed to give him an advantage.
Where the controversy comes into play is that he signed his scorecard before the penalty was assessed. Normally, if you sign a card that is incorrect, it is an automatic disqualification. But there was a new rule put in place two years ago that says if a penalty is assessed after you have signed your card, then you are not disqualified. The controversy comes because some are saying that Tiger took the illegal drop knowingly, and therefore should disqualify himself since he knowingly signed his card without assessing himself the penalty. Golf is a gentlemen’s game and we are to assess our own penalties because we are gentlemen ( It is said that Golf stands for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden).
What this means is that he went from being tied for 7th place, to tied for 19th place and ended up with a snow man on the 15th hole. A snowman is an 8, and most players quit counting their strokes on a hole once they reach the notorious snowman. I don’t do that. I count them all. But it’s nice to know that every now and then, with the help of officials, Tiger scores a snowman.
As for calling the penalty, he should have done so if he knew that he was dropping illegally. Since the rule has changed about signing the scorecard, he can stay in the game. The real penalty will fall between his ears. Will this get inside his head and completely take him out of contention? Or will it fire him up so that we see something spectacular over the next few days. Tiger’s T time is at 1:45 p.m. EDT if you want to watch it.
UPDATE: The reason the penalty was assessed after he signed his scorecard is because he admitted to moving back in his drop. Otherwise, the officials would have remained with their original ruling on the incident, which is that it didn’t matter.