Tiger Woods given 2-shot penalty at BMW Championship

Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods was given a two-shot penalty for a moving ball on Friday.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Tiger Woods was involved in another rules violation Friday in the BMW Championship, this time getting the two-shot penalty before he left the golf course.

Video evidence indicated that his golf ball moved ever so slightly as Woods was removing a twig from an area under the trees behind the first green at Conway Farms. What made this case unusual is that the video was taken by a videographer working for PGA Tour Entertainment, and the infraction was noticed by someone editing the film.

Slugger White, vice president of competition at the PGA Tour, stopped Woods before he signed for a 70. Woods didn't believe the ball moved out of its position, and White said the world's No. 1 player still wasn't convinced after watching the video.

"He said he didn't feel he could see that," White said. "I felt like that was OK, but the ball did move."

That turned a double bogey on No. 1 into a quadruple-bogey 8. It turned his 70 into a 72. Instead of being five shots behind Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk -- the sixth player in PGA Tour history with a 59 -- Woods was seven shots back going into the weekend.

And then it got even worse. Those two shots put him in the same pairing Saturday with Sergio Garcia, who got into a verbal battle with Woods at The Players Championship this year that ended badly when the Spaniard jokingly said he would have Woods over for dinner at the U.S. Open and serve him fried chicken.

They have not played together since that dispute.

Woods did not stop for comment after reviewing the tape.

At the Masters this year, Woods was tied for the lead late in the second round when his wedge to the par-5 15th hole hit the flag and caromed into the water. He dropped a yard or so behind his original position to avoid hitting the flag and escaped with bogey. Only later was it discovered that he took the wrong drop option and should have been penalized two shots.

Augusta National issued the penalty, but allowed him to stay in the tournament even though Woods signed for the wrong score. Augusta National cited Rule 33-7 that allows a committee to waive disqualification for an incorrect scorecard, which led to passionate debate whether he was getting special treatment. The club said it was aware of the violation, but chose not to have Woods review it before he signed his card.

Unlike the incident at the Masters, a television viewer did not call in the possible infraction. White said a freelance camera man working for the tour captured it on video. An editor at headquarters going over the footage thought there was movement of the ball and notified the PGA Tour.

The film was sent over to tour officials on site at Conway Farms, and it was reviewed at the tournament before bringing in Woods for consultation.

The movement was slight, though it appears to have moved down when Woods touches a small branch to the right of the golf ball, and it doesn't appear to return to its original position. White said Woods could not have seen that from his position looking down at the top of the ball.

Woods accepted his two-shot penalty at the Masters when he became aware of his bad drop. Friday was different. Even after looking at the video, Woods wasn't convinced the ball moved from its position.

"He knew there was movement there, but it's like (he) was very adamant that it oscillated -- it stayed there," White said. "But this video was at the site, and the ball did in fact move."

Asked to describe Woods' reaction, White said, "He was a little disbelieving. How's that?'"

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.
 


Comments

joesan22

The ruling on Tigers ball moving was incorrect. While I agree the ball did move there should not have been a penalty. The view of the camera was at tigers feet and had a view of the balls' logo. From Tigers view, top down on the ball, the reference mark on the ball was to the side and it may have appeared to Tiger that the ball only oscillated. The ruling needs to be based on what Tiger saw not what a camera at his feet picks up.

bnjorve

This is my second post on this issue...bottom line I think Tiger is being focused on unfairly and discriminated against. These questions are addressed to Slugger White, VP of Competition on the PGA Tour.
#1 - How many PGA Tour Entertainment videographers were working on Friday?
#2 - What % of Tigers shots were videoed on Friday? My guess is 100%, done at your direction.
#3 - What % of the other top 10 contenders shots were videoed on Friday? My guess is 5%, again done at your direction.
#4 - What % of Tigers shots were "edited"? My guess is something close to 100%.
#5 - What % of the other top 10 contenders shots were "edited". My guess is close to none.
#6 - If my answers are even remotely close to correct, there is no question that Tiger is being unfairly focused on and discriminated against.
#6 - What are the chances that someone "editing" the film in real time, could actually see the ball move? my guess is something close to zero.
#7 - So why was Tigers shot looked at with enhanced video in slow motion. Was someone told to look for infractions?
No other professional sports would consider doing something this unfair. What makes you think it's OK for the PGA. Get your head out of the sand and fix these unfair and discriminatory rules and procedures. As VP of Competition, the responsibility for this travesty clearly seems to fall on your shoulders.

bobjrsue

Since this video was taken by a videographer who was editing it, has anyone verified that the person did not edit out the 'oscillation' that Tiger said was there? There are many Tiger haters out there and I can see this happening. I think this needs to be done by a professional who can detect tampering. I have edited some of my home movies and this could be done easily. Just saying...

Radical1

>>>Augusta National issued the penalty, but allowed him to stay in the tournament even though Woods signed for the wrong score. / / / And to the Tiger fans who're complaining, didn't Tiger get to stay in the Masters when he should've been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard? I truly believe he got a free pass on that one!!!

Radical1

>>>What made this case unusual is that the video was taken by a videographer working for PGA Tour Entertainment, and the infraction was noticed by someone editing the film. / / / It's not unusual at all as TV viewers have been calling the PGA and getting players penalized for years, I've seen it happen hundreds of times. And didn't the PGA have to explain just about a month ago why they didn't pentalize a player(I believe it was Dustin Johnson) who's ball had moved when the player removed his ball marker, but the ball moved back to it's original position so thus NO PENALTY. Tiger's been golfing long enough to know that if a twig, stick or rock could even move something else which in turn would cause the ball to move when removed, you DON'T TOUCH IT! Tiger should have made a better, more educated, golf savy decision. So STOP blaming the videographer, he didn't move the ball, Tiger did and he should have known better. When I saw the video and before I even knew who it was I was screaming at the TV "don't move that......" and then it was too late, he already did. If I knew, even as an amateur not to try and move it, a pro should really have known better!!! And for some fans that're complaining, it's what comes along with being #1 in the world at anything and if you don't like it just think of where Tiger would be without all that TV coverage! So all that TV coverage that you fans wanted is nice, it's what made him famous, but it will also come back and bite you once in a while and you should expect it.

micheleking

Put every guy on tour under the same microscope you are using on Tiger. Enough of this
nonsense, there is no way you see that when it happens with just your eyes looking down and thinking
about your next shot but you guys put it in extra magnified slow mo and then pronounce that it did indeed
move like he was suppose to have seen it and was cheating!!! Get rid of Johnny Miller too, his comment
that the players won't like this was uncalled for. Every player on tour can thank Tiger for their paychecks
and the popularity of golf.....you too PGA.

micheleking

Put every guy on tour under the same microscope you are using on Tiger. Enough of this
nonsense, there is no way you see that when it happens with just your eyes looking down and thinking
about your next shot but you guys put it in extra magnified slow mo and then pronounce that it did indeed
move like he was suppose to have seen it and was cheating!!! Get rid of Johnny Miller too, his comment
that the players won't like this was uncalled for. Every player on tour can thank Tiger for their paychecks
and the popularity of golf.....you too PGA.

micheleking

Put every guy on tour under the same microscope you are using on Tiger. Enough of this
nonsense, there is no way you see that when it happens with just your eyes looking down and thinking
about your next shot but you guys put it in extra magnified slow mo and then pronounce that it did indeed
move like he was suppose to have seen it and was cheating!!! Get rid of Johnny Miller too, his comment
that the players won't like this was uncalled for. Every player on tour can thank Tiger for their paychecks
and the popularity of golf.....you too PGA.

rjsims1963

Tiger has always been a cheater since day one. Ask his ex wife.
He was seen cheating many many times when he was younger, it was brought to the attention of the PGA multiple times. But because of his race they were afraid to say anything for fear of being called racist. Golf has always been a gentleman's game and everyone called their own penalties. Just Tigers language would have had him thrown off the course 50 years ago.

steveblinder

This is simply just stupid and I agree that they need to put a camera on every players shot's as I am sure what happened to Tiger has happened to many others who dont happen to have their lives under a microscope. For the guy that made the chicken remark, GROW UP YOU RACIST.

bnjorve

You have got to be kidding me!! Unless you are willing and able to video every shot....for every player...for a given tournament...and have a pga official review every shot for every player.....it is grossly unfair to use any video or TV telecast to assess a penalty. My guess is that virtually every shot Tiger takes is videoed by someone? And it appears people have the time to look at almost all of his shots?? The vast majority of PGA golf pros may have 1% of their shots videos and nobody looks at any of them. This is clearly unfair and discriminatory. You need to review and revise you rules and procedures. Can you imagine any other professional sport that would allow fans and rogue videos to be used to change the score of a game?? Get your heads out of sand and fix this problem. It would be great if you could change your decision on Tigers two stroke penalty....but I know that would never happen.

Snjsnyder

Are you kidding me? Does this mean we can now go back and review every taped tournament and possibly remove some of Jacks wins including majors? Why do we have "officials " on course if we can review and make calls after the fact? The PGA has to take a stance on this or it's gonna get ugly!

zoovp

Be careful PGA, whether or not you have issues with Tiger Woods, he still gets people like me (extremely amateur golfer) to watch golf on the weekends and to buy the products that are advertised. Week in, week out, he is still the best golfer out there.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO FILM AND PENALIZE TIGER WOODS, YOU NEED TO FILM EVERYONE, EVERY SECOND, EVERY SHOT, ANY AND ALL MOVEMENT AROUND THE BALL, EVERY ACTIVITY OR ITS NOT FAIR! And enough with anyone, anywhere being able to call in from Russia if they want and get a player penalized. A "ball tremor" does not affect your damn game!

praise2him2

Please do not let this argument over Tiger's penalty deteriorate into a discussion of whether it was for racist reasons or not. I strongly believe that the fact that Tiger is African-American has nothing to do with this whole situation. I do believe it has everything to do with the fact that Tiger and whatever he does is under one of the highest powered microscopes in professional sports (due to so many desiring to see his every move, for a variety of reasons). This is both beneficial and, in this case, detrimental for Tiger. Is it fair? Would the miniscule movement (if it did occur) of any other golfer's ball been detected? Not likely, due do no other player having his every move recorded to the degree Tiger's is. Who knows how many times these types of things (that have occurred to Tiger in Augusta and now in the BMW championship) have happened to other professionals and gone undetected (whether honest or not)? I'm sure it has occurred, but has gone unreported due to others' every movement not being recorded.

CMorazzini_1

Penalized him just like any other player that makes mistakes either on purpose or NOT. He should not get preference because he is Woods and because of his race. Give him some fried chicken and obey the rulkes

kurtyd

Isn't the intent of the rule to keep a player from improving the position of his ball by causing it to move? The rule would have never been written had there not been players improving the lie of their ball. I'm sure it wasn't written just to provide an additional challenge to the game itself. For crying out loud, there is an equal chance of the ball moving and creating an even worse lie. What if the ball rolls into the water after removing a twig? Now the player will be penalized twice for the same mistake. The PGA admitted that there is no way he could have known that it happened. So now they're allowing technology, and the fact that a camera watches his every move, to go beyond the intent and design of the game & rules. It's a game of honor, if a player doesn't see an infration(particularly one that didn't have any effect on thr game) and his playing partners didn't notice either, then it's no harm, no foul! If you're going to allow technology to detect infractions, then you could put a laser on a ball in the rough, and most surely detect ball movement unseen by human eye that occurs during practice swings. It is impossible to take a swing from an overgrown hazard, without some miniscule piece of plant being dislodged, and if you used a microscope you could see it. This took a zoom lense & computers to enhance, to be able to see. Where do you stop? Intent of rules & technology need be given more of a look in these instances.

n0problem

This is ridiculous. I saw a "hold" that wasn't called on the Patriots Thursday night. According to video, there was a strike that should have been called on the Cardinals Friday night. Come on PGA - the "gentlemen's" sport. If the official's didn't see it at the time - let it go. It is an embarrassment to the game to penalize ANY player based on call-ins from the public.

n0problem

This is ridiculous. I saw a "hold" that wasn't called on the Patriots Thursday night. According to video, there was a strike that should have been called on the Cardinals Friday night. Come on PGA - the "gentlemen's" sport. If the official's didn't see it at the time - let it go. It is an embarrassment to the game to penalize ANY player based on call-ins from the public.

hubertchevre

This penalty is still more a scandal than the first one ! If the player is not able that his ball has "slightly" moved, is it fair to penalize him with 2 points ?? Of course, a freelance camera man working for the Tour was there : how many camera men aroud the other players ??
You sure did notice that nobody else in the camp suffers a penalty this year, except yhe young chinese player, himself stupidly penalized !! This was also a scandalous decision, because there are so many players who take too much time to play, and, suddenly, they fire the young chinese boy !! What a shame !
But Tiger will overcome that and show Sergio GARCIA and (the well named) Mr WHITE he's a great champion !