Tiger Woods must be disqualified from The Masters, says David Howell

Last Updated: 14/04/13 8:14am

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Sky Sports expert David Howell says that evidence given in Tiger Woods' post-round interview must see him disqualified from The Masters.

The world No 1 is facing elimination from the tournament following an incident at the 15th hole on Friday when his approach shot hit the flag and rolled into the water around the green.

"I went back to where I was and actually took two yards further back and tried to hit my shot another two yards off what I felt like I hit it."
Tiger Woods speaking after his round

The rules state that he had three options at that point; to play from the drop zone; to drop the ball any distance behind the water hazard in a straight line behind the point where the ball last crossed the water; or to drop as close as possible to the original ball

He went for the third option but, as he admitted in a TV interview afterwards, he decided to move two yards further back.

Woods said: "I went back to where I was and actually took two yards further back and tried to hit my shot another two yards off what I felt like I hit it."

That could be deemed a breach of the rules worthy of a two-shot penalty and as Woods has already signed his scorecard, Howell believes officials will have no choice but to disqualify him from the event when they listen to his post-round comments.

"I think that interview would lead you to say no, they can't keep him in the tournament," he told Masters Breakfast.

"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.

"He's gone two yards behind the divot, quite specifically I'd say as well. It is fractions, but his original shot pitched on the pin, which is further than he'd have wanted to pitch it.

"We all looked at it as a brilliant shot, but he's thinking he pitched it too far up. He wants to pitch it two or three yards short and he even said he'd taken it two yards behind the divot and he tried to take a couple more yards off the shot.

"He wants the ball to land short of the pin and he has massaged the distance he'd got for the fifth shot. You're not allowed to do that under the option that he took.

"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."

Woods, pre-tournament favourite for his fifth Masters title, finished his round just three shots behind overnight leader Jason Day having earlier shared the lead with the Australian.

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