Maybe Tiger Got it Wrong

The ruling kerfuffle at the Master’s may have done better work by examining this photo, which seems to show that Tiger’s second shot and his first shot were very close to the same spot — in accordance with the rule. Maybe Tiger’s statement, in which he claimed he moved back six feet, was wrong … maybe he thought he was six feet back but wasn’t.

What do you think?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • TJJ

    Looks like a picture of the same shot, a couple milliseconds earlier in the shot, with photographer photo shopped out. I saw the video tape Friday, Woods was clearly several feet beyond his original spot/divet. A fact the officials in my opinion must have also seen when they reviewed the tape on Friday. So the me the real issue is why they did not invoke the rule infraction as soon as they saw the tape. Why did they give Woods a pass on breaking the rule on Friday? To me it was very clear.

  • scotmcknight

    TJJ … when his feet are not in the same spot?

  • http://www.jeffgreathouse.blogspot.com Jeff Greathouse

    Maybe the NCAA basketball can allow fans to call in …..

  • Carter Robinson

    I think they should have stayed with their first ruling and let it stand.
    What would this have done if the same two tier decision had been done in other sports?

  • scotmcknight

    Jeff, the fan calling in didn’t lead to anything but clearing Tiger of a violation. It was Tiger’s own statements that led the rules committee to impose a violation.

  • tyler

    wat

  • Brad

    Scot it was a call about tigers interview that led to the 2 strokes. They had already ruled.

  • scotmcknight

    Brad, that’s right… the call did not lead to the penalty; his words did. Now I wonder from this picture if his own words were mistaken.

  • Brad

    Yeah I wonder if he dropped close enough(whatever that is) but they would rule on intentions alone?

  • Danny Sims

    he stated he wanted a certain distance and dropped the ball to accommodate that. rule violation, no question about it.

  • scotmcknight

    Danny, I agree… now look at that picture and ask if he maybe he thought he was farther back than he was. That’s what I saw immediately … he’s back, but not that far.

  • scotmcknight

    Danny, I don’t think intention or words would violate a rule. Only the location can determine if he followed the rule — near to the former spot (or something like that).

  • Jeff

    It was clear on TV. He walked back to the divot and was clearly 1-2 yards behind it. That picture really doesn’t tell us anything because the angle is such that the mark (whatever that is) behind him could easily be in a near identical location relative to his body.

    And, Tiger knows what he is doing. Golfers at that level know there shots to the yard. They know exactly how far they are away and he did. Clearly well behind the previous divot.

    It was a clear rules violation, without the video evidence. Could have been a DQ or he could have DQ’d himself – some golfers would have had they been asked, “Did you go a couple of yards further back and did you know that would be a violation and a two stroke penalty that you didn’t put on your card?”

    But I think, ultimately, the right outcome occurred.

  • http://DrIBEXIdeas William Varner

    Don’t trust the photos. There are no divots.

  • Clint W

    As a sports fan but not much of a golf fan, I was mystified by this story when it broke. This piece in today’s NY Times made it much more clear.

  • http://timgombis.com Tim Gombis

    The rules committee comes out looking bad on this one. Before the round was finished, they declined to act when it was brought to their attention. Early Saturday a.m., they should’ve restated the conclusion they reached during the round, regardless of Tiger’s post-round comments. The rules committee then reversed course and issued the penalty, but no DQ, putting Tiger in a bad spot. It’s unfortunate, and too bad it’s gotten so much attention when it really was a wonderful finish to the tournament.

  • scotmcknight

    Will, read the facts about the photographer: he did not move and took pictures through the swing about each. It does no good to cast doubt on something without evidence.

    Tim, I agree. The rules committee waffled through the process. Their first review was that he was close enough to fit within the rule. But when Tiger said he went back two yards, and I don’t see they checked photos to see if he did go back two yards (which would be a two-stroke violation and because he didn’t count it would mean DQ for signing an incorrect card), they believed him and said that’s at least an intent to break a rule — and then it was too late since they had already ruled him into the next day — and then they ducked under Rule 33-7 because it was not caught by the player, other players, or a rules official at the hole… it seems they made the only decision they could have made.

    I’m not so sure he was far enough away from the original spot … I’d like to see some photos that show the shots from above or from behind so we can see if he moved the ball much. He confessed to an intent that violated the rule, but if you read Bubba Watson’s statements, he said he thought Tiger mixed the rules: one on which you can move in direct line and the other where you play as close as possible to the previous spot.

  • http://timgombis.com Tim Gombis

    Yep, I think he mixed the rules, combining two possible combinations of three different rules. I’m glad it didn’t bear on the ultimate outcome (too much). Pretty impressive that he could come back from all that and still shoot a pair of 70s on the weekend.

    How would Cyrus have called it?

  • Syler Thomas

    I watched a video of the shot again this morning. He’s definitely 2 yards behind his previous divot, on the exact same line. I guess I’m confused as to where he SHOULD have dropped. Two yards further back seems like still within the bounds of legal, although his own statements are what doomed him– he himself said he moved back so he wouldn’t hit the stick again. You don’t want to drop in the exact same spot and risk having it fall in your divot. So where SHOULD he have dropped?

  • http://timgombis.com Tim Gombis

    He had the option of dropping in the drop zone, dropping it in line with where it entered the hazard (going back as far as he would’ve liked), or dropping it as near as possible to where he originally hit it. He mixed up options 2 and 3, resulting in a violation. And yeah, that’s the risk–that it rolls into the divot. I’m not sure whether or not he’d get relief in that instance.

  • scotmcknight

    Tim,

    He chose against Option 1.
    My understanding, since the ball went into the water from the green, he could not replace it there because wherever he placed it the ball would have been closer than where it entered the water, right?
    Third option: can a person ever place the ball behind where the person hit it the first time?

  • scotmcknight

    Syler, got a link to the video?

  • Syler Thomas

    I watched a replay of Sportscenter from Friday night. But this shows it well:
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9167296

  • scotmcknight

    Thanks Syler… I can’t judge the distance from that video. I wish they’d take the stupid banner off … we could see things better.

  • Sean

    The judge on the grassy knoll did it! It’s a conspiracy I say!


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