The Final Say on Tiger’s Drop

This is, I hope, my final reference to the dropped ball.

We have had so much interest in our Q&A about “Tiger’s Drop” that I find myself compelled to link directly to a statement issued by the USGA and R&A regarding the incident at the end of this Q&A.

 To summarize very briefly:

Tiger became aware of his mistake many hours after signing his scorecard. However, prior to signing the card nobody discussed the drop with Tiger, or the fact that it had been questioned by a “TV referee”, and reviewed by the Committee, and a conclusion drawn that the drop was permissible.

The Committee’s decision was not to talk to Tiger about the drop, as it seemed to believe that the incident had been investigated and resolved. However, it was resurrected by Tiger’s recollection of the incident later in a press interview, which initiated the subsequent review by the Committee and a decision to waive the penalty of disqualification.

First, let me say that the statement issued by the USGA and R&A is an extraordinarily well documented sequence of the events and is a clear explanation and interpretation of the appropriate rules.

Second, quoting in part from the statement — “Woods was aware of the only relevant fact: the location of the spot from which he last played his ball. His two-stroke penalty resulted from an erroneous application of the Rules, which he was responsible for knowing and applying correctly. Viewing the incident solely from the standpoint of Woods’ actions, there was no basis to waive the penalty of disqualification under Rule 6-6d.” — says it all.

The waived penalty was simply because the Committee made a mistake in not talking to Tiger, and this was considered an ‘exceptional individual case.’

In effect, based on all of the facts discussed above, in this case both the competitor and the Committee reached an incorrect decision before the score card was returned.”

I have read the R&A and USGA’s statement three times and each time I come away with the same conclusion: that Tiger should know what the penalty is for signing an incorrect card and abide by his obligation, irrespective of a Committee error.

Please take a few minutes to read the entire, very well documented statement on the USGA or the R&A’s website;  

Make up your own mind and share comments by replying below


18 thoughts on “The Final Say on Tiger’s Drop

  1. What a densely-written decision! My thumbnail summary is that the USGA supports the decision not to disqualify Woods, but the implication is that he probably should have been disqualified. I believe he should have been. He should have known better; and the only way he could be excused for signing an incorrect scorecard is if the committee had informed him before he signed that what he did was acceptable procedure. This they did not do. In golf, as often in life, it is the standard that it is not the responsibility of others to save us from ourselves. I can understand why the committee made the decision it made, which is, essentially what the USGA statement says; but, that doesn’t mean that they made the right decision.

  2. What a difference when one compares Tiger’s character with that of Mr. Bobby Jones. When Jones was congratulated for calling a penalty stroke on himself eveen though nobody had seen his ball move slightly after he had taken his stance, Mr. Jones said that there was no justification for a congratulation because that would be like congratulating someone for “NOT robbing a bank”. Like I said, “what a difference”.

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