Tiger Woods took an improper drop on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National on Friday when his approach shot hit the pin and bounced back into the water. The problem was that not only did Woods did not know that he violated a rule, but neither did his playing partners nor the official who was present on the 15th hole.
But the viewers who watched the improper drop knew and somehow notified the golf officials at Augusta. Only then did the officials say, “you know what, we need to revisit that improper drop no-call”. That led to the overnight drama where the officials went from disqualifying Tiger to docking him two strokes.
In case you all are still clueless as to why Tiger was not disqualified, a player can have penalty strokes added afterward when facts were not reasonably presented at the time of scorecard signing. Again, since Tiger – nor his playing partners and the official present – did not know of the violation, he was penalized two strokes.
While I am glad that the officials at the Masters did not disqualify Woods, I’ve got one thing to ask: what other sport allows a viewer to influence crucial decisions like that?
When a call is missed in other sports, it ends there.
For example, in football holding penalties go un-called all the time. Like John Madden once said, there is holding on every play. And when we viewers noticed those holding calls, we cannot influence the officials into make the correct call by clogging up their voice mails. As I said before, it ends there.
When a shot is taken before the buzzer is disallowed in an NBA game, a viewer is not going to call David Stern to get him to change his mind. Hell, anyone who knows Stern knows that cat is stubborn as a damn mule – but I digress…
And remember that incorrect call in Major League Baseball that cost a certain pitcher a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning? As many people railed against MLB commissioner Bud Selig for not overruling that call, that didn’t make Selig change his mind – as he shouldn’t have.
What’s done is done on the field of play. Officials cannot retroactively go back and change calls like that.
What the PGA does not realize is that it has opened Pandora’s Box. Will viewers of future major golf tournaments be able to influence officials into reviewing golfer’s mistakes? Will other golfers feign ignorance when approached with a similar rule violation as Tiger’s and not get disqualified?
All I know is that the PGA needs to do a better job of letting golfers know when they are violating a rule. And even when a violation goes unnoticed, it should be just that – unnoticed.