ATLANTA – Prior to Tiger Woods’ meet and greet with the media on Wednesday at East Lake he huddled with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem for about an hour, and although he didn’t elaborate on the conversation his answers afterwards were enlightening.
Woods, who was assessed a two-stroke penalty last week at the BMW Championship after Tour officials reviewed a tape that indicated his golf ball moved on the first hole while he was removing some debris from the area, was asked early in his news conference about possible “call-in” violations from viewers.
“There are certainly a lot more viewer call-ins,” Woods said. “I get it from the first time I step on the range on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, all the way through, and virtually every shot is on something, and some of the top players are getting it. Most players don't get it until they're in the leader groups on Saturday or Sunday.”
On Tuesday, Finchem said the Tour will likely review its policy regarding call-ins – Woods’ infraction last week was discovered by an editor with PGA Tour Productions who reported it to officials – and possible time limitations for reported violations.
The commissioner also addressed the commonly held theme that Woods and other top players are unfairly penalized by call-ins because they are on television more than other players.
“You’ve got 70-some players playing on Sunday, seven or eight or 10 of them can win the golf tournament, (and) 85, 90, 95 percent of the camera time is on those seven or eight players,” Finchem said. “Is that equitable to everything?”
This was Woods’ third run-in with a rule violation this season following similar incidents in Abu Dhabi and at the Masters.
“I can't remember another year in which this has happened like this, but kind of just the way it's been and the way it goes,” Woods said.