With the golf world reacting Saturday morning to the announcement that Tiger Woods had been assessed a two-shot penalty for an illegal drop during Friday's second round, Golf Channel's 'Live From the Masters' crew shared their varying views of the situation. Below is a sample of what our experts had to say:
Sir Nick Faldo, on the situation facing Woods: 'He should really sit down and think about this, and the mark this will leave on his career, his legacy, everything.'
Faldo, explaining that he feels Woods should withdraw: 'I think Tiger would gain massive brownie points if he stood up and said, 'You know, you're right, guys, I clearly have broken the rules, and I'll walk. I'll see you next week.''
Brandel Chamblee, on whether Woods should disqualify himself: “The integrity of this sport is bigger than the desire to see Tiger Woods play golf today. I want to see Tiger Woods play golf; I have never seen anybody play golf like him. I want to see him make a run at Jack Nicklaus’ majors record. I want to see that. But I don’t want to see it this week; I don’t want to see it under these circumstances. The right thing to do here, for Tiger and for the game, is for Tiger to disqualify himself.”
Chamblee, on the ramifications facing Woods: 'To me, this doesn't take any time or consideration. If he doesn't disqualify himself, this will cast a dark shadow over the entire day of golf, over this entire event, but more importantly over his entire career, for the rest of his life.'
Frank Nobilo, disagreeing with Chamblee's assessment that Woods should withdraw: “I don’t agree with that. If that’s the case, you have to have that argument on every single rules infraction. Every time a player grounds their club in a hazard, they’ve gained an advantage. Every time someone moves their ball one millimeter in front of their ball marker, they’ve gained an advantage over the field. So once again, you have to do the same to every single rules infringement. Maybe two shots isn’t enough; maybe it should be four, maybe it should be six. I’m not the one to decide that.”
Notah Begay III, on accepting the decision of the rules committee: 'In this particular case, whether it's the right decision or the wrong decision, it is the decision handed down by the committee, and I think that we should just respect it.'
Begay, on how he viewed the original incident and how he thinks Woods will proceed: 'I do think when I've looked at that video, that the drop wasn't as close as it needed to be; it wasn't even in the vicinity of where it needed to be. In accordance with the rules, that would be a pending disqualification, but I guess through some decision and process that Augusta National has gone through, they came to this resolution and I think Tiger's probably going to play today and do his best to put it behind him.'
John Cook, on what he would do in Woods' situation: “Even if they said, ‘You can play,’ I would go slam my trunk. Ultimately, I would slam my own trunk.”
Cook on the Augusta National Golf Club rules committee: “I certainly feel the committee got confused. They decided at one point that everything was OK, then upon further review they went in another direction.”
Brad Faxon, on Woods' decision to play or withdraw: “I think if Tiger withdraws, he looks better than if he wins this tournament. He looks like Greg Norman in 1996 when he lost to Faldo and gained more fans than if he had gone on to win.”
Faxon, on players knowing and understanding the Rules of Golf: “Ignorance is not an exception to the rule. We know that, and that’s the way it should be. We should know the Rules and follow the Rules.”
Olin Browne, on potentially creating gray areas by subjectively interpreting certain rules: “We can’t have hard-and-fast rules, and then say, ‘Well, except in this situation we need to do this,’ or, ‘Except in that situation we need to be a little more accommodating there.’ The Rules have historically been the Rules; fair or unfair, like or dislike.”
Browne, on accepting a decision once one is handed down: “I think we have to be careful about this. If the ruling body has come down with a ruling, the committee has come down with a ruling, we as players accept that.”
Tripp Isenhour, on the use of Rule 33-7: 'This is a good rule, and whether you agree with the committee decision or not, they're using this to allow this kind of interpretation to go on. I think this is a good rule for the game going forward, in the age of high definition.'
Isenhour, on how the new rule leaves incidents open for interpretation: 'Once you sign the scorecard, typically you would be disqualified. The loophole is this new rule. If we didn't have this new rule, then he would definitely have to be disqualified. Is there leeway, are they using this rule to kind of move a different way? Yes. But they have that right.'