Before giving my opinion on what is arguably the biggest ruling in the history of golf I'd like you to read Will Brinson's blog on cbssports.com here: http://www.cbssports.com/golf/blog/eye-on-golf/22065015/rule-33-7/45-saved-tiger-woods-from-disqualification-in-2013-masters.
Brinson did an excellent job of detailing what Tiger Woods did on the 15th hole on Friday: whether or not it was in accordance with the rules of golf, how Augusta National Golf Club initially responded to it, what Woods said in a post-round interview, and why the club then reacted to those remarks.
After considering all factors and asking eight touring professionals for some perspective, I believe Tiger Woods should have been disqualified or decided to withdraw from the 2013 Masters. I firmly believe that Woods did not intentionally violate the third option when dropping from a yellow marked hazard, but he absolutely broke that rule. I understand Augusta National's reasoning for giving him a two shot penalty, considering that they did not identify the issue on site, and that they believed Woods did not intentionally break the rule. But, hitting a shot from nearly two yards further away from the required spot, when you admittedly were trying to give yourself an advantage is, in my opinion, grounds for disqualification or withdrawal.
'm sure many sports fans feel that's too harsh, but it's also what separates the game of golf from every other sport. Keeping your own score, policing yourself, being accountable to the rules is what the game is all about. In contact sports athletes fake injuries, or act like they caught the ball for competitive gain, and its widely accepted. I'm not here to pass judgment on them, because I've cheered when my team's have gotten away with it. But golf is different. And if the most recognizable player in the history of the sport either does not know the rule, or can't hold himself accountable to it, then someone else should step in and enforce it. Fortunately, for media executives, the biggest draw to the public will continue to play in The Masters this weekend. But unfortunately, the integrity of the game will suffer.
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