Another rules violation, another two-shot penalty for Tiger Woods, who was apparently fuming after PGA Tour officials slapped him with a two-shot penalty for an incident on the first hole during the second round of the BMW Championship.
Woods was already steaming when he kicked off the day with a double-bogey, but it became worse hours later when he was confronted by rules officials in the scoring area and docked two strokes for violating Rule 18-2a. After an errant approach shot that ended up in the woods, Tiger was trying to remove some loose impediments around his ball when it moved (and it’s pretty clear it did).
The infraction was caught by a cameraman for PGA Tour Entertainment (they’re the guys who bust their butts running around the course to film highlights and then dashing back to the media center to edit and post them online ASAP), who ran it up the chain of command until it reached Andy Pazder, the Tour’s executive VP and chief of operations. Then, Pazder called Slugger White, the VP of of rules and competition for the PGA Tour, to review the infringement.
According to reporters on-site, Tiger stormed past the media after leaving the scoring area, but White said Woods contested the penalty, insisting the ball oscillated — meaning it moved but settled back into the original position — instead of actually moving.
“Tiger evidently hit it over the green and was moving some loose impediments,” White said, referring to the violation. “He had a pretty large loose impediment behind his ball, which he moved, was no problem at all.
“And there was a little stick of some sort kind of next to his ball, and when he rolled that, the ball in fact moved. He knew there was movement there, but was very adamant that it oscillated, it stayed there.
“But this video was at the site, and the ball did, in fact, move. So in that situation, had he put the ball back it would have been a one-stroke penalty. He didn’t, so he gets a two-stroke penalty.”
White described Tiger’s reaction as “disbelieving,” but he made Woods watch the video before signing his scorecard — which changed Tiger’s double-bogey to a quadruple-bogey on no. 1 and instead of shooting a one-under 70, he signed for a one-over 72.
“It’s pretty clear that the ball did move,” White said.
Another slow-mo version of the incident via GolfChannel.com:
This is the third time in 2013 that Woods has received a two-shot penalty for a rules violation. The first occurred on the European Tour at the Abu Dhabi Championship, where Woods took an improper drop that caused him to miss the cut. Then, of course, there was that controversial mess at the Masters for his drop on no. 15 in the second round.
At The Players Championship, Tiger allegedly made another contentious drop on no. 14 at TPC Sawgrass, which was questioned and debated to no end, but he was found “not guilty.”
Oh, that wasn’t the only controversy Woods was involved in at The Players, which he won for the second time in his career. The other involved his nemesis Sergio Garcia when they were paired together in the third round — which, as you may recall, turned into an episode of “The Real Housewives of the PGA Tour,” before eventually escalating and crossing ugly lines.
Due to the two-shot penalty on Friday at Conway Farms, it changed Tiger’s position on the leaderboard from six-under through 36 to four-under, which also impacted his pairing for the third round. Guess who Tiger’s playing with tomorrow? Oh yes, Sergio!