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Johnny Miller questions Tiger Woods’ drop on 14

Tiger-WoodsTiger Woods was questioned for the second tournament in a row for a drop he took after hitting into the water.

Tiger went into the water on the par-4 14th hole during the final round of The Players on Sunday. He took a drop which led to some questions from NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller.

“That was really, really borderline. I couldn’t live with myself without saying that,” Miller said, via Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner.

Miller is known for being a controversial announcer, so this sort of thing is nothing new for him. This is also nothing new for Tiger, who was facing disqualification at the Masters after taking an illegal drop on the 15th hole at Augusta during his second round.

Woods took his one-stroke penalty for hitting into the water on 14 and double-bogeyed the hole. He won the tournament at 13-under, but the drop he took on 14 has left many questions.

Woods’ options after hitting into the water were: 1) play his shot from the original location 2) play from behind the water hazard 3) play where the ball crossed over the hazard.

Did Tiger do any of the three? The PGA Tour had his back by issuing this statement:

“Without definitive evidence, the point where Woods’ ball last crossed the lateral water hazard is determined through best judgement by Woods and his fellow competitor. If that point later proves to be a wrong point (through television or other means), the player is not penalized by Rule 26-1 given the fact that a competitor would risk incurring a penalty every time he makes an honest judgment as to the point where his ball last crosses a water-hazard margin and that judgment subsequently proves incorrect (Decision 26-1/17).”

Video via The Big Lead

Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia quibbling over incident on second hole

Sergio GarciaThe rivalry between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia heated up again on Saturday during the third round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass when Garcia complained that Tiger caused some noise while he was hitting a shot.

Garcia was getting ready to hit his second shot on No. 2 and was at the right side of the fairway. After he swung, he looked to his left where Woods was getting ready to play his shot. Apparently the crowd started to cheer as Woods brought out his 5-wood, which Garcia thought could have been avoided.

“I wouldn’t say [Tiger Woods] didn’t see that I was ready, but you do have a feel when the other guy is gonna hit,” Garcia said after his round, via Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner.

Tiger defended himself after the round, saying the marshal told him Garcia had already hit his shot.

“The marshal told me he already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot,” Woods said, via Lavner.

Tiger also couldn’t resist getting in a little dig at the Spaniard.

“Not real surprising he’s complaining about something.”

During a rain delay, Garcia also mentioned in an interview that Woods’ actions “didn’t help very much.”

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Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods make red carpet appearance

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods made their relationship official in March, but it wasn’t until this week that they made their first red carpet appearance.

The two stepped out in public for the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Monday night. They went to an after party at the Standard Hotel afterwards. US Weekly says Tiger got tipsy at the party and somewhat embarrassed Vonn, for whatever that’s worth. The Superficial even has pictures of Tiger appearing to look wasted.

Vonn also posted a “selfie” to her Facebook and Instagram Tuesday morning.

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Lindsey Vonn’s ex-husband jokes that he ratted out Tiger Woods

The tweet of the weekend definitely goes to Lindsey Vonn’s ex-husband Thomas, who joked that he was the one who called the Masters to rat out Tiger Woods for taking an improper drop on the 15th hole Friday.

Here’s what Thomas Vonn tweeted on Saturday:

Thomas VonnThomas’ tweet links to a Yahoo! Sports article that notes it was a fan watching on TV who called the Masters to report Tiger’s drop violation, which later resulted in a two-shot penalty.

Thomas and Lindsey married in 2007 and announced plans to divorce late in 2011. Before their divorce finalized in January, rumors, which were later confirmed, said Lindsey was dating Tiger Woods.

Thomas Vonn used to serve as Lindsey’s ski coach. Now he settles for zinging her and her boyfriend with awesome jokes.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn watching Tiger Woods at the Masters

Photo: Twitter/Thomas Vonn

Tiger Woods: I did not think about disqualifying myself

Tiger Woods drop

Tiger Woods admitted after shooting a 70 in the third round of the Masters Saturday that the controversy over his improper drop distracted him, but he did not consider disqualifying himself.

Woods spoke with CBS’ Bill Macatee following his third round and said it wasn’t until Saturday morning that he learned there might be an issue with the drop he took on the 15th hole Friday. Macatee asked if Tiger thought about disqualifying himself for signing an incorrect scorecard, but he said he did not.

“No, because under the rules of golf I’m abiding by the rules,” Woods answered. “They made the determination that nothing had happened yesterday. After what I had said, things changed and they called me in this morning and I got a two-shot penalty.”

Macatee asked Woods if he felt the two-shot penalty was fair, and he said yes.

“Absolutely. I made a mistake. Under the rules of golf, I took an improper drop and got the penalty.”

Woods also admitted that the controversy distracted him.

“Well, it was certainly a distraction early with the routine, but like anything it happens and you move on. I was ready to play come gametime.”

The Augusta National competition committee said disqualification wasn’t even being considered for Woods. Tiger said earlier in the day that he didn’t knowingly break a rule, which is why the committee felt a disqualification would be unfair. Woods is four shots behind co-leaders Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker entering the final round.

Graphic via Deadspin

Tiger Woods addresses drop controversy at the Masters

Tiger-WoodsTiger Woods avoided disqualification at the Masters on Saturday morning after the Augusta National rules committee determined that he committed a violation with his drop on the 15th hole during the second round of the tournament. Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty, as it was determined that he did not knowingly break a rule and was not aware that he had done so when he signed his scorecard on Friday.

On Saturday morning, Woods (or his publicists) took to Twitter to respond to 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,” Tiger wrote. “I didn’t know I had taken an incorrect drop prior to signing my scorecard.

“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.”

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Tiger Woods’ drop being reviewed, could be facing disqualification at Masters

Tiger-WoodsTiger Woods is reportedly facing a possible disqualification at the Masters. When discussing his round on Friday evening, Tiger spoke about the ball he dropped after his shot hit the pin on hole 15 and rolled into the water. Here is what he said, via CBSSports.com.

“I went down to the drop area, that wasn’t going to be a good spot, because obviously it’s into the grain and it was a little bit wet.

“So it was muddy and not a good spot to drop. So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards farther back and I tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit.”

If that’s true, that would be illegal. The official rule reads as follows.

It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in thehazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped…

Woods’ explanation of being “two yards father back” and having to take a little bit off the shot is seemingly an admission that he did not drop his ball as nearly as possible to the spot where his initial shot was played. If that’s the case, he should have been assessed a two-stroke penalty. Since he was not and signed the scorecard, that would mean he signed an illegal card. Doing so would lead to an automatic disqualification.

According to FOXSports.com’s Robert Lusetich, Augusta National was reviewing the drop as of Saturday morning but would likely have to wait to speak to Tiger before coming to a conclusion.

When watching a replay of the shot on television, it appeared that Tiger dropped the ball about 2-3 feet behind a divot which may have been caused by his initial shot. Whether or not 2-3 feet is “as nearly as possible” to his first shot is something course officials will have to determine. Whereas the actual rule leaves room for interpretation, I would be shocked if Woods was disqualified.

UPDATE (9:34 a.m.): According to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, Woods has been assessed a two-shot penalty but will not be disqualified. Due to a rule change in 2012, the rules committee is now able to go back and assess a penalty and allow the player to keep playing even after they signed an illegal scorecard, rather than disqualify the player.