One of the most-discussed golf shots of 2013, Tiger Woods’ approach to the 15th green during the second round of the Masters created a controversy that left a lasting impact on the season’s first major.
According to nine-time major winner Gary Player, though, Woods can’t be faulted for the fallout from his nearly-perfect shot and subsequent illegal drop.
“Tiger Woods did absolutely nothing wrong at Augusta,” Player explained in a video interview with Golf.com.
Though Woods went on to tie for fourth in his latest bid for a fifth green jacket, his week was largely defined by the second-round wedge approach that struck the pin and spun back into the water, followed by an incorrect drop that cost Woods an additional two strokes. According to Player, that shot changed the course of the entire event.
“If he hit a lousy shot, 30 feet from the hole, I think Tiger Woods would have won the Masters,” the South African noted. “That was basically a four-shot penalty.”
Though many fans and media alike speculated that Woods should possibly withdraw from the event as questions surrounded the drop and subsequent penalty, Player remains adamant that the 14-time major champ was correct to accept the two-shot penalty handed down by the rules committee the following day.
“He didn’t try to hide anything. There it was, that was the decision,” the 78-year-old said of Woods. “There’s nothing more to say. When a rules man gives you a ruling, that’s it. Amen.”
More than six months removed from the season’s first major, Player explained that he “felt very sorry” for Woods in the aftermath of his fateful shot off the flagstick.
“That was as bad a break as I’ve ever seen in golf,” he added.