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Woods' drop at No. 15 comes into question

Tiger Woods
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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.