Golfers have mixed reaction to Woods' infraction
TribLIVE Sports Videos
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods still has a chance to win the Masters.
Some of his fellow players seem OK with that; others are unsure.
Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty Saturday before he went out for the third round of the Masters, a ruling that stirred plenty of debate because of the way it was handled by Augusta National.
Woods could've been disqualified for signing an improper scorecard. Instead, he was docked a couple of strokes, bounced back to shoot a 2-under-par 70 and will go to the final round four strokes behind co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera.
Steve Stricker was among those who believe club officials got it right.
“They addressed it before he actually signed his card, and from what I understand, they said, go ahead and sign your card,” said Stricker, who was one shot behind Woods. “If they would have come up to him before he signed his card, he would have said, ‘OK, well, let's go through it, and you're right. I did take two steps back, it's a two-shot penalty and I signed for two shots higher.' End of story.”
Several golfers who didn't qualify for the Masters weighed in on the issue via social media.
David Duval, who once supplanted Woods as the world's top-ranked player but is no longer a regular on the PGA Tour, went on Twitter to say his former rival should pull out of the year's first major to make things right.
“Was there intent to break the rule is the question?” Duval wrote. “I think he should WD (withdraw). He took a drop to gain an advantage.”
Kyle Thompson, who plays on a lower-tier tour, felt Woods was getting preferential treatment — a perception that Augusta National strongly denied.
“I guess Tiger is BIGGER than golf,” Thompson tweeted. “Any other person in the world gets DQ'd. Gotta keep those TV ratings going right?”
Hunter Mahan said the issue was more complicated than that. He failed to make the cut at the Masters but was intrigued by the precedent.
“I like this ruling because he took an illegal drop but no official brought it to his (attention),” Mahan tweeted, adding that both sides — those who thought Woods should be DQed, those who thought a two-stroke penalty was proper — had good points to make. “Not sure the right answer.”
Former player and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger said the decision was fair.
“I actually like the fact that he's protected,” Azinger said. “He signed the correct card, they added two shots for a penalty he didn't realize he committed.”
But another former player, Curtis Strange, was troubled by the ruling.
“Whatever the case is, he didn't drop as close as possible as he could,” Strange said. “Did he do it intentionally? No. He did it unintentionally and broke a rule.”
For the most part, the Augusta gallery seemed pleased that Woods was still around for the weekend. He received nothing but cheers when he stepped up to the first tee. But one fan made an off-handed complaint when Woods pitched up short of the flag at No. 3.
“He should have given himself a couple of extra yards there,” the man said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Vanilla Mike too polite on officiating
- Cubs’ 3-run, 9th-inning rally upends Pirates
- Fleury’s performances have Penguins still believing vs. Rangers
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Super-agent Boras says Pirates will have opportunity to re-sign Alvarez, Cole
- Penguins Insider: Series has enough gamesmanship
- Penguins seek way to improve line changes
- $3.5M glass sculpture’s story begins, ends in rural community of Dunbar
- Pittsburgh union serving TV, film production looking for lots of help
- Steelers open daunting season at Patriots, play 5 prime-time games
- Alle-Kiski roundup: Freeport baseball team downs 1st-place Deer Lakes