AUGUSTA - Tiger Woods has been assessed a two-stroke penalty for taking an illegal drop at the 15th hole during Friday's second round of the Masters.
Woods had finished the second round at three-under-par, three shots behind leader Jason Day but now will start the third round at one-under-par, five shots behind Day.
The infraction came after Woods had hit the flag stick with his third shot at the 15th and had the misfortune of having his ball rebound into the pond that is in front of the green.
Under the rules of golf, Woods was required to drop the ball as near the site of the original shot as possible. Instead, he dropped about five feet further back, believing that he had that leeway as long as he kept the point where the ball first crossed the hazard line between himself and the hole.
After conferring Saturday morning with rules officials and Woods himself, the penalty was assessed.
Text of a statement issued Saturday morning by the Masters Committee regarding the decision to penalize Tiger Woods for an improper drop during the second round of the Masters on Friday:
Yesterday afternoon, the Rules Committee was made aware of a possible rules violation that involved a drop by Tiger Woods on the 15th hole.
In preparation for his fifth shot, the player dropped his ball in close proximity to where he had played his third shot in apparent conformance with Rule 26. After being prompted by a television viewer, the Rules Committee reviewed a video of the shot while he was playing the 18th hole. At that moment and based on that evidence the committee determined he has complied with the rules.
After he signed his scorecard, and in a television interview subsequent to the round, the player stated that he played further from the point than where he had played his third shot. Such action would constitute playing from the wrong place.
The subsequent information provided by the player's interview after he had completed play warranted further review and discussion with him this morning. After meeting with the player, it was determined that he had violated Rule 26, and he was assessed a two-stroke penalty. The penalty of disqualification was waived by the committee under Rule 33 as the committee had previously reviewed the information and made its initial determination prior to the finish of the player's round.
- Fred Ridley, Chairman, Competition Committees