Masters: Tiger Woods could be disqualified for incorrect drop during second round
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 13/04/13 3:09pm
Tiger Woods could face disqualification from the Masters for an alleged illegal drop during his second round at Augusta.
World No 1 Woods saw his approach shot at the 15th hit the flag stick then spin back into the water, just as he was making a charge to the top of the leaderboard.
He decided against playing from the drop-zone and instead went back to where his original shot was played, but decided to move two yards further back, from where he produced a stunning shot to make bogey.
However, rule 26-1 states that he should play his second attempt as near as possible from the spot of the first, and in Woods' own words he decided to move it two yards back.
"I went down to the drop area, that wasn't going to be a good spot, because obviously it's into the grain and it was a little bit wet," said Woods.
"I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit. I felt that that was going to be the right decision to take off four right there. And I did, it worked out perfectly."
It is Woods' own admission that he moved the ball further back that could be his undoing, as that could be deemed by officials to be a breach of the rules, and that would carry a two-shot penalty.
However, since Woods has already signed his scorecard, it would then get even worse as signing for an incorrect scorecard comes with the penalty of disqualification from the event.
While it would be a huge move from Masters officials to throw the world No 1 out of the prestigious event, Sky Sports pundit David Howell told Masters Breakfast that Woods should be disqualified.
"I think that interview would lead you to say no, they can't keep him in the tournament," he told the programme. "The rule is very clear. He has taken the option to drop and play from where he played his last shot and it seems like Tiger has got a little bit confused in his mind.
"He's thinking stroke and distance and is thinking what he'd be able to do had he dropped back in line with where the ball last crossed the hazard.
"You can go back as far as you like in that instance, but he hasn't chosen that option. The way he describes it in that interview, he has in his mind decided to lengthen the shot by two more yards.
"It's a very, very fine margin, but the way his thought process came about during the interview... I don't see how they can keep him in the tournament.
"I think he will end up being DQ'd on the back of the evidence he gave in that interview."
With reports of the incident growing, Masters officials face a huge problem when they get back to Augusta on Saturday with the biggest name in golf under scrutiny.