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Woods Assessed Delayed Two-Stroke Penalty


A day after the incident happened, Tiger Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty after he took what was deemed to be an illegal drop on the 15th hole in the second round of the Masters Tournament. Instead of a 1-under 71, he carded a 1-over 73, dropping from 3-under 141 to 1-under 143 through 36 holes and five strokes behind leader Jason Day.

After hitting his third shot on the 15th struck the flagstick and caromed back into the pond fronting the green, Woods started walking toward the green and drop area, but returned to the original spot of his shot in preparation for his fifth stroke on the hole.

He dropped the ball behind the original spot which, according to the Rules Committee review, constituted playing from the wrong place and thus warranted a two-stroke penalty.

Woods ended up bogeying the 15th after hitting a spectacular shot to three feet and making the putt. However, instead of a bogey the penalty gave Woods a triple-bogey eight.

The Rules Committee originally reviewed the video Friday after being prompted by a television viewer. At this time, Woods was playing the 18th hole, and the committee determined Woods had complied with the rules.

After the round, Woods told reporters he played his fifth shot further from the point from where he had hit his third, which would be playing from the wrong place. This caused the committee to further review and discuss the matter with Woods Saturday morning.

After their meeting Saturday morning, according to a statement issued by the Masters Tournament, the committee determined Woods had violated the rule and assessed him a two-stroke penalty.

Because the committee had previously reviewed the matter and made its initial determination prior to the finish of the player's round - and Woods was not aware or told he made an illegal drop, the penalty for disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard was waived under Rule 33.

On Saturday morning, Woods tweeted about the incident: "At hole #15, I took a drop that I thought was correct and in accordance with the rules. I was unaware at that time I had violated any rules.

"I didn't know I had taken an incorrect drop prior to signing my scorecard. Subsequently, I met with the Masters Committee Saturday morning and was advised they had reviewed the incident prior to the completion of my round.

"Their initial determination was that there was no violation, but they had additional concerns based on my post-round interview. After discussing the situation with them this morning, I was assessed a two-shot penalty. I understand and accept the penalty and respect the Committees' decision."

The chairman of the Masters Competition Committee, Fred Ridley, issued the following statement regarding the delayed penalty:

"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 had 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."

There was no change in Woods' tee time for Saturday despite him moving down the leaderboard. His tee time and pairing with Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano will remain at 1:45 p.m. ET.