Woods' drop at No. 15 comes into question

By Jay CoffinApril 13, 2013, 11:16 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Did he or didn’t he?

Buzz late Friday was that Tiger Woods may have taken an illegal drop on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters.

A tournament spokesman told Golf Channel early Saturday morning that they have no news to report. If, ultimately, it’s deemed Woods did take an illegal drop he would be disqualified because he signed for a bogey-6 on the hole instead of a double-bogey 7.

You’ll remember that Woods layed-up his second shot into the par-5 hole and hit a wedge shot from 87 yards. The ball hit the flagstick and rolled back into the water that is marked with a yellow stake, meaning it’s not a lateral hazard.


Woods assessed two-shot penalty, but was not DQ'd

Augusta National's official statement on Tiger ruling

Video: Analysis of Woods' illegal drop at No. 15


Rule 26-1 is the rule in question. There are three options.

• Woods could have played the shot from a drop area, which he opted not to do.

“I went down to the drop area, that wasn’t going to be a good spot, because obviously it’s into the grain, it’s really grainy there,” Woods said. “So it was muddy and not a good spot to drop.” 

• Woods also opted not to drop the ball, keeping the point where it last crossed the water between the hole and the spot where he dropped. The ball entered the water off the front left portion of the green. Woods’ hit his shot from the middle of the fairway. 

• The final option is the return to the original spot where he played, and drop the ball “as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.” 

“I went back to where I played it from,” Woods said, “but I went 2 yards further back and I took, tried to take 2 yards off the shot of what I felt I hit.” 

This is the problem in question. If Woods played the shot 2 yards from the original spot, which he said he did, he could be deemed to have taken an illegal drop and be disqualified.

Woods was the co-leader for five holes during the back nine Friday. He shot 3-under 33 on the front and was sailing along smoothly until the ball clanged off the flagstick on No. 15. Woods three-putted the 18th hole for another bogey to shoot 71.

He is tied for seventh place, three shots behind leader Jason Day.

Woods is scheduled to tee off for his third round at 1:45 p.m. ET with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”