Tiger Woods learned otherwise.
After finishing his pro-am round at the Bay Hill Invitational, Woods was headed for the parking lot when PGA Tour rules officials Mark Russell and Slugger White stopped him. Turns out a fellow player wanted Woods' driver tested to make sure it conformed to the rules.
'They said, 'We've had an inquiry,'' Woods said. 'I said, 'No big deal.''
'It wasn't even close,' Woods said. 'I'm well below the speed limit. The hotter it gets, the more I cut it. I can't control the ball if it's coming off the face that fast.'
Who wanted the driver tested?
'I didn't ask who it was,' Woods said. 'They're not supposed to tell. Doesn't matter. I know I'm not close.'
That his driver was tested didn't create any hard feeling with Woods, although it raised questions whether players should have a right to know who is pointing fingers -- and why.
Golf is built around honor, all in the interest of protecting the field. Players not only routinely call penalties on themselves, they are not shy about pointing out possible infractions of their peers.
'I questioned a guy at Firestone last year,' Kenny Perry said.
'We were playing lift, clean and place, and I was coming down the third fairway. He hit his tee shot (from No. 1) into our fairway and picked his ball up. I said, 'I'm not sure you can do that.' We called a rules official over. It was nothing personal.'
The PGA Tour believes in keeping disciplinary issues private. Someone can rat on another player for using foul language, and the guilty party is not supposed to learn the identity of his accuser.
That extends to testing equipment.
'Just like we do with discipline, in the event a driver passes or doesn't pass, we don't want it to have a bearing on the relationship between the players,' said Henry Hughes, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. 'It's important to protect the field. Where we get the information is less important.'
But that information always finds its way back to the source, because gossip on the PGA Tour is more rampant than at office cocktail parties.
Tour officials tested the grooves in Phil Mickelson's wedges two years ago because someone saw him hit a shot out of the rough with an extraordinary amount of spin. Before long, Mickelson figured out it was Michael Clark, and left him a note in his locker thanking him for his concern and wishing him well at Q-school.
It didn't take long for the source of Woods' driver test to leak.
Turns out it was Tom Pernice Jr., and the source of his concern was some drives Woods hit in the final round at Doral during that great duel against Mickelson. One drive, on the par-5 eighth hole, was 44 yards longer than Lefty's.
Pernice was not at Doral. Woods says the last time they played together was in 2003.
'I was watching on TV and Phil hits it out there pretty good,' Pernice said Tuesday. 'I knew it was a new driver, and he was hitting it 25 yards past Phil. Nothing against Tiger. I was just surprised how far he was hitting it past Phil.
'If Tiger is upset that his driver is tested ... if someone wanted to test my driver, I'd be honored,' he added. 'With new equipment, you never know.'
The driver test was intended to remove all doubt. The policy the PGA Tour has in place -- its own version of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' -- only leads to a question of motives.
There is some irony with Woods having to submit his driver for testing. He's the one who first stirred the pot, suggesting two years ago that there were drivers on the PGA Tour that were over the limit. That led the tour to initiate voluntary testing at the start of 2004.
The development gets even more interesting considering that Pernice is best friends with Vijay Singh and has been critical of Woods over the last six months -- the best zinger coming at Pebble Beach when Pernice said Woods wasn't doing enough for tour sponsors.
Maybe that's why questions about equipment should be kept quiet.
'It's supposed to be confidential,' Pernice said. 'But that's fine. I don't care.'
David Toms, one of four players on the PGA Tour policy board, believes these matters should not be public, the same way players get anonymity for turning in their peers for conduct unbecoming a professional.
'To keep from having bad feelings among players, that would be the thing to do -- keep quiet,' Toms said.
But he also suggested a better way to handle inquiries.
'I would probably say something to him first,' Toms said. 'It's like giving the player the option of either calling something on himself or having himself turned in. That's what our game is all about.'
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