Ironically, the golf snitch who narced out Pagraig Harrington in 2011 wound up saving Tiger Wood’s ass at this year’s Masters. Back in 2011, while playing the seventh hole at the Abu Dhabi Championship, Harrington inadvertently brushed his ball while replacing his marker. He knew he had touched his ball but he didn’t think that it had moved as a result. He played on without consulting a referee. Meanwhile, somewhere in the world a person was watching on his HDTV, and using freeze-frame and rewind he was able to ascertain that the ball had moved. He then sent an email to the rules committee. After watching the replay about 60 times, the guy in charge of rules determined that the ball had rolled three dimples forward and only one and a half dimples back. Under the then-existing rules, Harrington had to be disqualified because he had signed his scorecard without listing the penalty he should have incurred.
Yet, every sentient being agreed that this was an injustice, so a new rule was put in place that allowed some discretion in the future. It was this new rule that was invoked to allow Tiger Woods to continue playing in this year’s Masters despite his having signed an inaccurate scorecard on Friday.
On Friday, Tiger Woods made a gigantic blunder in applying the rules of golf, a brain cramp unworthy of a veteran pro. Perhaps his incredible bad luck, watching a near-perfect wedge shot hit the flagstick, yet bounce back off the 15th green into the water, numbed him with shock. But his subsequent mistake, taking an improper drop, ultimately cost him two shots and will haunt and may doom his chances to win this Masters.
But that’s all he did wrong.
Woods was so unaware of his gaffe that he gave three TV interviews in which he described in detail what he thought was a smart piece of strategy but was in reality a clear violation of a rule so simple many hackers grasp it.
Initially, it was another golf snitch who notified the rules committee about Tiger’s improper drop. They looked at it and figured it was close enough. But when Tiger went on television and admitted the drop was intentionally improper, they had no choice but to penalize him. And because he had already turned in his card, the normal procedure was to disqualify him.
So, now a lot of people are debating this because they have nothing better to do. An intentionally improper drop is quite a bit different that an unintentional brush of the ball that moves it one and a half dimples. Would a lesser golfer have received the same leniency?
I bring this up because the alternative is to talk about North Korea or the budget, and I am sick of those subjects.