Ridley glad to have Nicklaus' support on dropgate


Now six weeks removed from one of the most talked-about rulings in recent golf memory, Fred Ridley reinforced Wednesday that his committee's decision regarding Tiger Woods' drop in the second round of the Masters received support from around the game of golf – including this week's host.

In addition to serving as chairman of the Masters competition committee, Ridley is also a member of the Captains Club, which advises on the conduct of The Memorial Tournament. As a result, the former USGA president finds himself at Muirfield Village this week, and Wednesday took time to address the aftermath of the decision to penalize – but not disqualify – Woods for an illegal drop.

'Yes, that (the support) was good,' he noted as part of a Golf Digest report.

The support Ridley mentions came not only from the game's biggest governing bodies, the USGA and the R&A, but also from Jack Nicklaus, who serves as tournament host this week in Dublin. Shortly after the season's first major concluded, Nicklaus came out in support of the committee's decision to assess Woods a two-shot penalty.

'Could they have disqualified him? Probably,' Nicklaus said last month. 'But you've got all the best rules heads together and they said that they thought there was no intent to do anything (improper) and that two strokes was a strong enough penalty. And you move on.'

In speaking Wednesday, Ridley highlighted Nicklaus' support as an extra piece of reassurance that the committee made the right call.

'We knew that the USGA and R&A supported the decision right away, as soon as we let them know,' he added. 'As for Jack, we all know Jack has strong opinions. He and I haven't talked about it, but I respect his opinion. I've known Jack for a long time.'