Augusta National has weighed in on the controversial decision to hand Tiger Woods a two-shot penalty as opposed to a disqualification.
The play in question involved Tiger making an illegal drop on a shot he took in the tournament Friday.
After not marking himself with a two-stroke penalty and signing his score card, Woods could have faced disqualification for signing an incorrect score card.
Rather than disqualify the star golfer, the Rules Committee decided to instead give him the penalty.
Fred Ridley, chairman of the competition committees, had this to say in a statement:
“Yesterday afternoon, the Rules Committee was made aware of a possible Rules violation that involved a drop by Tiger Woods on the 15th hole.”
“In preparation for his fifth shot, the player dropped his ball in close proximity to where he had played his third shot in apparent conformance with Rule 26. After being prompted by a television viewer, the Rules Committee reviewed a video of the shot while he was playing the 18th hole. At that moment and based on that evidence, the Committee determined he had complied with the Rules.”
“After he signed his scorecard, and in a television interview subsequent to the round, the player stated that he played further from the point than where he had played his third shot. Such action would constitute playing from the wrong place.”
“The subsequent information provided by the player’s interview after he had completed play warranted further review and discussion with him this morning. After meeting with the player, it was determined that he had violated Rule 26, and he was assessed a two stroke penalty. The penalty of disqualification was waived by the Committee under Rule 33 as the Committee had previously reviewed the information and made its initial determination prior to the finish of the player’s round.”
Woods, meanwhile, made a statement through Twitter explaining his actions and accepting the ruling.
“At hole #15, I took a drop that I thought was correct and in accordance with the rules. I was unaware at that time I had violated any rules. I didn’t know I had taken an incorrect drop prior to signing my scorecard,” Woods said.
“Subsequently, I met with the Masters Committee Saturday morning and was advised they had reviewed the incident prior to the completion of my round. Their initial determination was that there was no violation, but they had additional concerns based on my post-round interview.”
“After discussing the situation with them this morning, I was assessed a two-shot penalty. I understand and accept the penalty and respect the Committees’ decision.”