One of the thinks I’ve always liked about the people who ready my stories and columns either online or in The Desert Sun is that they are not afraid to share their own opinions on golf, for which they have an obvious passion.
Tiger Woods and the ruling are getting plenty of chatter (AP photo)
That proved true again over the last few days and people emails and called to talk about their ideas on the ruling that produced a two-shot penalty for Tiger Woods at the Masters for taking a bad drop, but how that violation didn’t produce a disqualification.
Here are a few examples:
Herb emailed some thoughts that prove Herb at least knows a lot more about the subject than some people ever will: “You may be correct that the Masters Committee decided it would be overkill to DQ Tiger after making an incorrect initial decision, but I would argue that that was not within their power under the Rules and Decisions as I read and understand them. (I am a Canadian certified Rules Official and the Rules and Decisions are the same in both countries). Under Stroke and Distance Mr. Ridley is correct that the Rules do not indicate exactly where one has to drop the ball but the wording of the Rule and common knowledge is that the player must drop at the spot from “where the previous stroke was played” – Rule 20-5. Tiger dropped about 2 club lengths behind that spot and hence played from a wrong place, which invokes Rule 20-7 which provides a two stroke penalty for such occurrence in stroke play. The Rule goes on and provides that if the player, in playing from a wrong place has committed a serious breach (defined as gaining a significant advantage (Note 1 to Rule 20-7) the error must be corrected before the player hits a shot at the next teeing ground. Failure to do so results in the player being DQ’d. In his press conferences after the round Tiger was quite clear and forthright in stating that he dropped where he did to assist in making the shot he intended. (Paraphrase is mine) For the Masters Committee to decide that such a drop would not be a significant advantage for players of this level of ability would be mind boggling.”
Uh, wow, Herb.
John of Palm Desert (I’m not handing out people’s last names here) was a little more blunt: “What if boils down to is that if there had been no phone call and Tiger said the same thing, and a penalty imposed, he would have to have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. If the rules committee had done their job correctly, there would be no discussion. They failed, and in doing so, they have given the Masters, and golf in general, a black eye.”
John, more than a few people shared that opinion early, and they still raise an eyebrow over the was the Masters handled the situation even if the didn’t now the Rule 33-7 amendment at the time of the incident.
Todd, a former touring caddie, admits to being old school in his email: ” I agree that if tiger was confronted by the committee prior to turning in is score card of the possible infraction, this might not be a conversation! But his admission “after the fact” of his infraction, which involves a 2 shot penalty, after his scorecard has been turned in and recorded, should lead to a disqualification. But I guess this new rule 33-7 protects such things happening in this day in age no matter what I think.”
Ted was less than pleased with the reaction of some of the experts on Golf Channel on Saturday morning: “Who would believe that golf would have a bunch of Monday Morning Quarterbacks? These supposed experts watched Tiger live do his illegal drop and didn’t say crap, Then they want him to disqualify himself before they knew the facts. Only one person to my knowledge out of 7 million viewers reported the violation . Because of new age HD, the Masters & Tiger played by the new rules. The irony is most of these people wouldn’t have jobs if it wasn’t for Tiger & HD. TB PS I’m SO happy Adam won!”
A lot of people were happy that the penalty didn’t have a direct bearing on the outcome, and a lot of people are happy Adam Scott won.
Brian of Palm Desert wades in with this: “The PGA and the USGA, along with the Masters, all ruined golf when they allowed a TV viewer to call in to dicuss anything that happens on the golf course. Point one: Did anyone see D. A. Points make an illegal drop on 15? No, because D.A. Points wasn’t on TV. He wasn’t the story. So if I play well then I have to worry about being on TV and Joe Shmuck at home calling a penalty on me?”
Personally, I think letting some guy in his underwear and a torn t-shirt and a beer in his hand in Cedars Rapids make ruling in a golf tournament a thousand miles away makes no sense at all.
Ted of Palm Desert (a different Ted than a few comments ago) adds this: “The news media keep promoting the obvious lie that a random TV viewer called Masters officials to complain about Tiger Woods drop location on the 15th hole. Virtually anyone would find it hard to believe that a random person would have access to the phone numbers of the officials, let alone be allowed to talk with them during the tournament. Clearly, the person who complained was an insider, another pro player most likely, rather that someone from the general viewing public. Even more likely, there wasn’t even a phone call, but rather someone had a face to face meeting with the officials, further indicating that it was an insider.”
The problem with that, Ted, is that the random caller to a golf tournament has happened so often now that we have to accept that these people do exist out there and they do have a way somehow to get to CBS or the tournament organizers or the PGA Tour. Personally, again, I think it;s silly that golf allows this to happen. And it has happened too often.
Anyway, keep those emails and phone calls coming.