Tiger Woods Masters penalty of two-strokes is now reported to have been “unnecessary” according to Yahoo! Sports, and from photos released by the Augusta Chronicle on Sunday.
If that’s the case, the entire episode places a taint on the Masters victory of Adam Scott, who finished at a final score just two shots over where Woods would have been without the penalty. No degree of media cover-up will change this fact – the win by Adam Scott comes with a sad asterisk.
The Augusta Chronicle photo by photog Michael Holahan is of Tiger Woods’ two chip shots from the 15th fairway at Augusta. The first shot Woods made hit the flagstick and weirdly rolled into the water, which forced Mr. Woods to take a one-stroke penalty and then drop his ball “as nearly as possible” to his original location, and prior to the second shot.
While Tiger later told ESPN he moved back two yards to gain a better angle for the second shot, The Augusta Chronicle circled the divots in the 15th fairway which show that Tiger Woods’ second shot was in almost the exact same location as the first shot.
So, in point of fact, Woods never did take that extra step. The question is why he said he did, but the answer could be as simple as he may not have remembered exactly where he was after Friday’s round was complete, and thus reported based on his own faulty memory – that’s the only logical conclusion one could come to.
But the larger problem is with the Masters itself. The Augusta Chronicle photos call into question the claim that someone called in via television and spotted the problem, because that means first, that person’s only reference was ESPN’s moving camera, and not a stationary one like the Augusta Chronicle had, and second, The Masters Officials themselves relied on faulty, heresay testimony from an unknown television viewer, info that turned out to be wrong.
Moreover, The Masters Officials failed to gather absolute total unassailable evidence that Tiger Woods did, indeed, commit a penalty. Even if Tiger thought he committed an error, the Masters’ staffers could have looked and discovered otherwise – Tiger was just trying to do the right thing. In fact, he may have overcompensated in that case.
Tiger Woods is certainly a team player, but this blogger can’t get over the feeling that he was robbed. It may be that Woods so wants to be just “one of the boys” that he went along with whatever they did and said – go along to get along. That’s fine when you know your friends have got your back, but from the looks of the photos, it’s fair to say the Masters Officials look like anything but friends of Tiger Woods.
So Adam Scott gets the green jacket, and Angel Cabrera thinks about the one that got away, and Jason Day laments the shots he blew, but the real story is about how a penalty called in by a television viewer who had access to the Masters Officials, who then failed to do the proper confirmation checks and assessed it against Tiger Woods altered the course of the 2013 Masters and tainted that win.
A sad day. Sad because while Tiger said he needed a 65 to win on Sunday, and didn’t get it, the bottom line is having that two-stroke ball-and-chain around his waist didn’t help him either.