An eagle-eyed television viewer prompted an investigation into Tiger Woods’ drop yesterday on No. 15 which resulted in a two-stroke penalty and all kinds of debate. It’s not the first time a Woods violation has been reported by those watching at home.
During the 1999 Phoenix Open, Woods famously had a boulder moved on No. 13 after his tee shot came to rest next to it. The giant rock was deemed a “loose impediment,” a team of men was assembled to complete the Sisyphean task and Tiger made a birdie. He eventually finished three shots back of Rocco Mediate.
The unorthodox maneuver prompted a deluge of calls into the USGA inquiring about the legality. The original ruling was upheld, and the offending boulder has been moved.
Woods both benefits and is hurt by having all eyes on him. In Phoenix, we was able to enlist a small army to help him out. Yesterday, he fell victim to an eager viewer who may have let a similar infraction go if it had been committed by a lesser name.
Fame’s a double-edged sword.