Tiger Woods doesn't think he should have gotten two-shot penalty at BMW

Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship
Getty Images
Tiger Woods, at the BMW Championship, believes his ball oscillated, but didn't move, on Friday.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Saturday, September 14, 2013 | 7:21 p.m.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Even after watching video evidence, Tiger Woods still doesn't think he deserved a two-shot penalty at the BMW Championship. 

Woods was docked two shots at the end of his second round when his ball moved ever so slightly behind the first green. Video from a camera man hired by PGA Tour Entertainment showed the golf ball dip down as Woods was removing a twig before playing a shot from the trees. 

Woods argued that it only oscillated, returning to its original position. The chief rules official at the PGA Tour determined otherwise. 

"As I said, from my vantage point, I thought it just oscillated and that was it," Woods said Saturday after shooting a 5-under 66 at Conway Farms. "They replayed it again and again and again. And I felt the same way." 

Slugger White, vice president of competition for the PGA Tour, said Woods did not take the penalty easily. 

"He was a little disbelieving. How's that?" White said Friday. 

Woods did not argue with that description. 

"I was pretty hot because I felt like nothing happened," Woods said. "I felt like the ball oscillated and that was it. I played the rest of the round grinding my tail off to get myself back in the tournament, and then go from five to seven behind. That was tough." 

"We had a very good discussion," he said. "I'll end it at that." 

The only thing that moved in the third round was Woods' name up the leaderboard, though not as much as he had hoped. He ran off six birdies in seven holes in the middle of his round and got within two shots of the lead at one point before his momentum stalled. He still moved up eight spots into fifth place, four shots behind Jim Furyk going into the final round of a tournament he has won five times. 

And he did it with Sergio Garcia along for the ride. 

It was the first time Woods and Garcia played together since their verbal sparring at The Players Championship, won by Woods. Their public spat ended when Garcia jokingly said at a European Tour awards dinner that he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and serve fried chicken. 

Garcia apologized, though the Spaniard was heckled at the U.S. Open. On that front, it was fairly tame in the suburbs north of Chicago before a loud and large crowd, most of them interested in Woods. There were a few comments, though nothing much different from other golf tournaments in America. 

Garcia appeared irritated at someone in the gallery on the 18th hole. Then again, he is developing a reputation for hearing just about everything. Garcia rallied for a 69. 

Even as Woods made his move, there were lingering questions about his two-shot penalty. 

Woods made double bogey on the first hole Friday. It became a quadruple-bogey 8 with the penalty. It was the third time this year Woods was given a two-shot penalty for a rules violation. 

At his first event of the season in Abu Dhabi, he took relief from an imbedded lie in a sandy area covered with vines. It was determined that relief was not allowed in the sand. He was docked two shots before signing his card, and it caused him to miss the cut. 

More famous was the incident at the Masters, where he took an improper drop after his shot on the 15th hole in the second round hit the flag and went into the water. Word reached Augusta National from a television viewer – who turned out to be rules expert David Eger – but the club did not bring it to Woods' attention. It was only after later review, and Woods' comments that indicated he took an illegal drop, that he was penalized.

He was allowed to stay in the tournament despite signing a wrong scorecard because Augusta National felt it should have asked him before allowing him to sign his card. That decision to waive disqualification is covered under the Rules of Golf. 

"The one at Augusta after going through it on Saturday morning, yeah, I did take the wrong drop," Woods said. "But yesterday I didn't feel like I did anything. And as I said, I described it in there and I said I moved the pine cone right behind my ball. I feel like the ball oscillated, and I just left it. Evidently, it wasn't enough." 

Still, this has become a year of rulings for Woods. 

"It's unfortunate that he's been at the center of this about three times, I think, this year," Steve Stricker said. "I don't know why, if it's just because all the TV is on him all the time or what." 

 


Comments

doug.neiman

After reading a couple of these comments, I find it hard to believe that some of you even play the game of golf (or you are so good that you have never been in the rough in your life). All I see in the video is that Tiger does follow the rules. He is allowed, by rule, to remove loose impediments. The video clearly shows that the instant that he started to move an impediment that was going to effect the ball, he stopped moving that impediment which I believe is well within the parameters of the "spirit of the rule". The video shows the ball settling down less than 1/8 of an inch when looking at it from that angle (slow motion high def, btw). There is no video from directly overhead showing Tiger's point of view when looking at the ball in real time to show if the ball moved laterally at all and if any major movement was perceptible by human eye. So unless the PGA makes players wear cameras on their heads, video should not be admissible when doling out penalty strokes unless one of the other players says they saw an infraction. No player should be held to the standard that Tiger was held to Friday... the game would be miserable. Be careful PGA... you are going to ruin the game you have worked so hard to build up.

matthew.cumings

Just yesterday Nick Watney waited around for a ruling, one he called out on himself. Guys do it all the time. It's kind of both/and with the cameras on Woods and Woods "thinking" he's above the game. Tiger knows the rules as well as anyone, that said, he can make calls on the course most other golfers would be uncomfortable making themselves. The drop at Augusta is a good example, we can all cut corners and be biased, it's hard to be totally transparent about our motives all the time. Hopefully Tiger learned this year to be more humble in his approach to rulings. He can ask offficals any time for a second opinion and he should- he should set a good example for younger (and older...) players even if he knows 110% how the ruling will turn out. All that said I'm one of the biggest Tiger-homers around so go get 'em today big guy. Four shots is a lot to make up but Furyk will slow down today. Giddyup! (I think the real competition is Stricker today.)

jeff588

I believe the issue is NOT whether or not the ball moved. If I understand this, the video was NOT even from a broadcast camera, for example a blimp-cam view that clearly shows an infraction. This was a non-broadcast, private video where the ball was seen "moving", during editing after the round finished and Tiger had signed his card. Was the video CGI edited? Does Tiger have the right to challenge the integrity of the video??? The PGA does not (yet) have an official camera on every shot, but maybe it should? There are $$$millions at stake. What would happen in the NFL if a fan after a game showed his video of a goal-line shot where his video clearly showed the call was clearly blown? Nothing would happen.

I also don't understand how "oscillating" can be allowed but "moving" not allowed. Any physicist will tell you it's physically impossible for a ball to move and then move back to it's EXACT position - might be imperceptible to the human eye, off by only a few molecules, but an "oscillating" ball is one that MOVED!

stockbox

I would watch golf with or without Tiger, it is NOT about Tiger, it is about the game! Most if not all other golfers would have called for a ruling immediately, that is the gentleman way! Tiger obviously is Not based on his actions....Tiger thought he was above asking for a ruling and he is hurting the game with his on the course and off the course antics, IMHO

--Have a super Sunday

Jbogansky

The issue is not if the ball moved. The question the PGA rules committee needs to answer, " is Tiger held to a new set of rules, which all other players are not". I don't know and the PGA does not know if any other player caused an infraction of any rules similar to the one which led to this controversy. They can't know because from the information provided, no other videographers where assigned to all players.

The whole reason the playoffs are held at this time of year is to compete with the NFL for ratings. You can answer this question without any help. "If Tiger was not near the head of the Leaderboard, would you watch football or the BMW today"?

Have a great Sunday.

hubertchevre

Shame on you, Stockbox, to post such a comment ! Woods plays always with TV and photographs aroud him, that's the reason for all these problems ! Nobody else receives penalty : Sure, it's because Tiger is a cheater, and the only one on PGA Tour ! This penalty seems really severe ... But Tiger is still on top of the leaderboard !

stockbox

Woods thinks he should be able to make up his own rules, the PGA over the years has looked the other way too many times, it is time for Tiger to play by all the rules and be a gentleman....Shame on him