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Colin Montgomerie says Tiger Woods 'got away with it' but is unlikely to win Masters

Last Updated: 14/04/13 10:08am

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Woods only guilty of ignorance

Colin Montgomerie says Tiger Woods may have got away with his dodgy drop, but can't see him going on to wear the green jacket.

The world number one risked disqualification from The Masters for an illegal drop after finding water at the 15th during his second round, but was handed a two-shot penalty by tournament officials and allowed to play on.

Woods never considered withdrawing

Woods went on to shoot a two-under-par 70 and now lies four shots behind leaders Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker ahead of the final round and while Montgomerie refused to write off his chances, he can't see him winning a fifth Masters title.

But he insists the American is fortunate to have a chance to play on Sunday at all.

"He didn't feel it was taking advantage of a position and didn't know the rules," Montgomerie told Sky Sports.

"Normally ignorance is not innocence and in this case it's proved that way and he was given an olive branch.

"Has he taken advantage of it enough? I'm not sure. He set off great with a birdie at the first, but is 70 good enough?

"He is four behind and has got a lot of good golf to play on Sunday. If the weather is as perfect as it was on Saturday then he's got to score 66. Can he do it? Of course he can. Will he? I don't think he will.

"He started the day, with the penalty, five shots behind the leader and now he's only four so I think he's gained - but of course he's got to gain four or five shots on Sunday.

"I think he got away with it today - he got away with playing in the first place - and he got away with an average round because the course became a lot more difficult as the later starters progressed."


Woods risked disqualification after he admitted in a TV interview that he placed the ball two yards behind its original position after finding the water.

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Montgomerie accepts that he wasn't deliberately trying to flaunt the rules, but says he's surprised by his ignorance after he was penalised in similar circumstances at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship earlier this year.

"Everyone's saying he was taking advantage," he continued.

"But I don't think he was. You don't consciously take advantage on a golf course, none of us do, and I think Tiger wasn't aware he was doing something wrong.

"Everything would have been fine, I'm sure, unless he said what he said in his post-round interview.

"That's not the first time he's been involved in ignorance of the rules of golf. At the start of the year in Abu Dhabi something happened.

"I'm surprised that he and his caddie don't know the rules of golf."

Montgomerie is no stranger to such controversy himself, having been accused of an illegal drop at the Indonesian Open in 2005 when disqualification might have cost him a place at that year's US Open.

But the Sky Sports expert explained that the scenario Woods finds himself in is quite different.

He said: "My own position in 2005 was that I found out I had inadvertently placed the ball in the wrong place a week after the event.

"This is very much different because it's during the event and normally in these situations, ignorance of a rule is not innocence.

"But the committee here at Augusta National have decided that on this occasion ignorance of the rules is innocence and play will continue.

"A lot of people think he should be disqualified, but he's been given a two-shot penalty, so play on."

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