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Woods talks rule change for first time since BMW

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – When the USGA announced Decision 18/4 last month, it appeared in direct response to Tiger Woods’ rules controversy at this year’s BMW Championship.

As you’ll recall, Woods believed his ball oscillated as he moved debris from behind it, but a video review showed that it moved, resulting in a two-stroke penalty.

The rule amendment states that “where enhanced technological evidence (e.g. HDTV, digital recording or online visual media, etc.) shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time.”


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In the days after the announcement, USGA executive director Mike Davis maintained the rule change had been discussed long before the BMW, which Woods confirmed on Wednesday by saying he’d spoken with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem about it previously.

“I talked to Tim at length about this, actually ironically enough, over the course of the year,” he explained. “He wanted to make a change a little bit sooner, but couldn't quite get the wording how he needed to get the wording correctly. So he was on board with it long before. 

“I think the ruling is such that there is that it certainly is going to help players, but certainly it's not going to save all the players.”