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Originally written May 01, 2013 on Gamedayr:

Via Gamedayr:

The 2013 Masters was one of the most intriguing golf tournaments in recent memory. We watched a 14-year old actually make the cut and an Australian win it all for the very first time.

However, one of the biggest stories of the entire weekend had nothing to do with either Guan Tianlang or Adam Scott.

Surprise: America was riveted by a situation involving Tiger Woods, probably the only golfer most folks country wide have ever heard of.

On the 15th hole, Tiger took a drop ball that would live on in infamy. The fact that Woods was nearly disqualified and eventually assessed a two-stroke penalty was one thing, however, the refereeing itself was completely another.

The rest of the nation could not believe some guy on his couch at home was able to get in touch with a Masters official and then manage to get one of the greatest in the history of the game penalized.

Who was this person? Was it just some punk sitting at home all day and night looking for ways to hate on famous people such as Tiger? How did he call up the Tournament in the first place?

As it turns out, the caller was not simply some nobody — it was Champions Tour golfer David Eger. Here’s what Eger told Sports Illustrated about what he saw while watching at home like the rest of us:

“I could see there was a divot — not a divot, a divot hole — when he played the shot the second time that was not there the first time. I played it again and again. I could see that the fairway was spotless the first time he played the shot and there was that divot hole, maybe three or four feet in front of where he played after the drop.”

At that point, Eger called his friend Mickey Bradley, who was working as one of the rules officials at Augusta. What happened next, as well as how it all actually wound up being for Tiger’s benefit, is something we are leaving to SI to explain:

“[Mickey] Bradley immediately called [competition committee chairman Fred] Ridley and Russell, the veteran PGA Tour administrator who is on the three-man Masters competition committee that is chaired by Ridley, a former U.S. Amateur champion and USGA president. Bradley also forwarded Eger’s text to Russell and Ridley. In his text, Eger wrote that Woods ‘didn’t appear to play by Rule 26-1-a.’ He wrote that he ‘appeared to be 3-4 feet back’ from his divot mark.”

“It should be noted that Eger’s call saved Woods from disqualification, because it spurred Ridley’s incorrect interpretation, which was challenged by Woods’s own comments to ESPN, which enabled Ridley to invoke rule 33-7, the one that allows wrongs to be righted.

Let’s recap: David Eger, a Champions Tour golfer, called Mickey Bradley, an official, who called Fred Ridley about the fact that Tiger failed to comply with Rule 26-1-a (doesn’t everyone know Rule 26-1-a? Sheesh).

At that point, Ridley interpreted everything incorrectly, so instead of disqualifying Woods, the superstar was assessed the two-stroke penalty.

So there you have it, the story behind how Tiger Woods’ infamous drop ball penalty was spotted and assessed.

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PLAYERS: Tiger Woods
75 Comments:
  • Tattled on Tiger???? Golf is supposed to be gentleman's game with some honor. Apparently Mr. Woods forgot that till this man brought it to the PGAs attention and only then he owned up.
    You clowns in the sports media I swear he could kill someone and you clowns would defend the womanizing ass.
    Tattled indeed, give me a break!
  • you guys just love to hate get a life and quit worrying about tiger's cuz he aint worried about you.
  • Whenever someone makes a comment against Tiger, guys like you get outraged and call them "haters". You have the problem. Just because someone doesnt like Tiger does not mean they are a hater. I dont like the way he gets special treatment. I dont like the way he ignores the press and doesnt sign autographs. I dont like his spitting and cussing all the time on the air. He curses so much that the tv people just ignore it....where they used to apologize for it. So....get off your high horse calling people haters. Everyone has a right to like or dislike who we please...even though as your name indicates ...you are a hater.
  • Ohiogolfer- You just said what I have been saying for years. I am not a hater because I "dislike" Tiger as a person. He is a great golfer but fails to impress me with his acts on and off the course. Tiger could take some lessons from Phil Mickelson on how to interact with fans and how to be a true family man!!!
  • Yes, Tiger forgot, like the initial rules official forgot, maybe your hatred of Tiger is coloring your comments. I understand that you may have an issue with his personal life, but on the course he has always played the game as it should be. The 1st rule that comes to mind is that he can play on the line as far back as he wishd. However since it went into the water on a different tract then the line it went in on, he was not allowed to do this. And if he did in fact kill someone I assure you, I woudl call the police on him, you see I can seperate his personal life from t=his sporting life, something that you obviously cannot do.
  • Maybe Tiger is a stand up guy, and this just slipped his mind. Whenever we try to determine a persons character we look at past events. They tell us a lot about a persons character. I'm not here to pass judgement, instead I just want to point out the ludicrousness of the question. The title of the article tells it all, and tattling is saying something like "he's touching me!!". This is totally different....all sportsmen have the obligation to point out cheating plain and simple.
  • I so not believe for a second that Tiger I dropped where he did was intentional cheating. He actually to a freaking ruling and was told prior to signing his card he was okay... Some people just love to hate Woods which is just fine but the guy is the biggest draw in golf if not all of sports. Even PGA guys are grateful for how big the purse $$$ and endorsements $$$ have grown because of his influence (positive) on the game of golf.

    Bottom line for me is I could care less about his womanizing, it's none of my freaking business. I love watching him golf because he is the best I have ever seen, bar none.
  • I noticed Eger didn't call his buddy to notify him when Fred Couples had a shot from the bunker walked in dug his feet in took a couple of practice strokes and walked away came back to his ball. By planting his feet in the bunker and stepping away he should have been deemed to be testing the surface which I believe is a penalty. No matter what Tiger did at home he is the only reason golf is still alive today.
  • Funny how this womanizing, divorced, minority, no ethics loser is a more successful person than you will ever be. Says alot about you doesn't it?
  • Get over it jerk, this is long ago news but looks like you are still stuck in the 1800, if you have nothing else to do read a book.
  • "that's the facts jack"
  • to hawkeye and countless tiger haters!, the rules are out into place for these reasons and available for everyone; myself being a serious golfer and businessman have nothing but total respect for what the man has done for golf and for thousands of children in his academys and countless other charities over the past 15 plus years... what have you done for humanity? . Arnold Palmer is about the only other golfer who has done nearly as much and by the way go look at the masters where he beat Ken Venturi, see how rules applied there as well and not to mention all the womanizing by certain players in a certain era that was not publicized because we had no stupid social media, cell phone cameras etc. I wish all you tiger haters would quit being... well basically childish, I guess your not winners in life so have to hate on anyone who is successful and a proven winner. Get over it.. loser!
  • Every man on this planet is a womanizer in some form or fashion so stop hating on Tiger for it.
  • golf has always been a gentleman's game, so to speak, right up to the point of getting caught for an infraction !
    to call a game from the couch at home, or even listen to someone on the phone,(yes he is just someone) is an infraction in it's self !! I quote you "with some honor" ! key word here is "some", and the ball drop was dropped with "some honor" !
  • Just because his life is made public give you no right to call him names. I don't think he would have mentioned on national tv that he put the ball about 2 yards away if he knew he was wong by doing it. get a life and worry about your own
  • Hawkass, the verict was out and is why he was not disqualifies..Read the whole story instead of what you want to read. You have a lot of nerve talking about womenizing..I bet you have had a few yourself outside of your marriage...along with some of them explicit magazines you read in the toilet and hand jobbing to boot...dude stop judging when you are no different..
  • What the writer failed to point out is that David Eger is not only a Champions Tour golfer but a former USGA Official himself.
  • he must be hard up for tiger... man get a life want to to tell on people go talk to the police...
  • I hate Tiger Woods. For no reason. We all do. Now are you happy?
  • Awwww, poor little boy.
  • Unless they are going to videotape and televise every shot by every player the folks at home should not be allowed to notify anyone of a rules infraction. On course officals and playing partners should be the only source for infractions.
  • On course officials do not "Call Penalties" like in football; if they did, it follows that anything a player could get away with would be ok and would stand. Rather, it is entirely the players responsibility to obey all of the rules and to penalize himself for any infraction, intentional or otherwise; and by the act of signing his scorecard the player is attesting to that fact. That's why the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard is so punitive; 9 times out of 10 the player is disqualified.
  • I never said anything about "calling penalties". I said the only source for validating infractions should be the on course officals and players.
  • I fully agree. Joe Montana has it right, nobody watching TV should be able to call a play I don't care how bad it is. We have all see really sloppy calls in various sports but that is part of the game.
  • Really YardBarker you pulled MY COMMENTS. After all of the crap I have read hear you do this, find you've just lost 10 viewers between us here who view ALOT of pages Good Riddance!
  • So, how many of you haters are still blaming Tiger?
  • I blame Tiger. He violated a rule, and wouldn't admit it. Golf is supposed to be a gentleman's game. If they break a rule, they are supposed to admit, and penalize themselves. Does that make me a hater? No, it doesn't. If any other golfer had done the same thing, including Jack Niclaus, I would make the same statement.
  • Ummm, that's kind of the point. He did admit he did it, during his interview after the round. And when told later that it actually was against the rules, he admitted it and took the penalty without complaint, like he should have. Doesn't mean it's not a gentleman's game if someone makes an honest mistake and owns up to it. Now if he would have protested and made a stink about it, then you could say he violated the principles of this gentleman's game.
  • Did anyone see the twitter feed from Joe Montana on this issue? He was livid, down right PO'ed and guess why? Because no one should be allowed to phone in an infraction of any sort in any sport. If the NFL allowed it there would be penalties on every play. And what about the NBA? yes it a gentleman's game but even the best make mistakes I don't care who you are it happens and if you say it doesn't your lying to yourself. If your on the course and you see it first hand that's one thing but if your not shut up and watch!!
  • I don' even think you should be able to call it on the course. Can you call it in a football game, a basketball game, a baseball game, soccer - no, the only ones allowed to call a play are the officials on the field. Play moves on. If you think Tiger did something trying to get away with it, I think you are smoking rope.
  • Tiger played it the same as all of us amateurs do. He took it back close to where he first hit it and then took it back some more to a better, flatter lie (just like Furyk did just before him)This would have been legal had the balls trajectory off of the flag stick been identical to it's flight into it. Alas, the angle took the ball toward the grandstands, not back toward it's original line of flight. He did what he thought was the right thing to do. I love golf but some of the rules are crazy.
  • Couldn't have said it better myself.
  • Tattled? Who wrote this article? Cindy Brady?

    Blunderschmadt...I hate to tell you, but there are a LOT of things that weekend duffers do that pros are not allowed to. And "giving yourself a better lie" is exactly one of them. With good reason.

    AzHusker...why shouldn't we? What about this article suggests that he WASN'T at fault?
  • Does anyone out there think the reason Tiger wasn't advised of the two stroke penalty before he signed his card, was they wanted him in contention for the tv draw from the fringe watchers? He did sign an incorrect card=out!don't kid yourself, he knows the rules and he has used them all for his benefit.
  • You are grasping for straws.
  • I say exactly like Joe Montana. This is a sport, just like all the others. A viewer should NOT be allowed to call in penalties or anything else! It is not allowed in any other sport!
  • Absolutely, no one, especially someone watching TV, I don't care if he is the Pope, should be able to call a pal that he knows to complain about a call. First of all, how many of us would be able to call a bud that just happened to be able to change the course of things. Bad judgement call to allow it to even come up.
  • I've been a golfer for over 55 years and do admit to not knowing the rule book, but let me try to understand...rules are to keep one from cheating, right? So, how does a man "cheat" by dropping his ball "3 to 4 feet BEHIND where he originally hit from"??? Am I missing something here? In front of the spot I can understand! It would seem to me the Rules of Golf need a HUGH updating!
  • Golf is not a sport like all others. Sorry, this belongs to the post above.
  • I agree.if you drop your ball 3 to 4 ft behind where you previously played it should not be a penalty or infraction and no one has the right to call in an infraction and be valid by a phone contact.its bad for sports and especially the masters, shame on them.
  • cbsober, a professional golfer can put more spin on the ball than we ever dreamed of, and thus creates backspin to stop the ball quicker. By hitting from further back wood was knowingly creating himself an advantage by being able to swing a bit harder and stopping the ball quicker by virtue of the spin he put on it.
  • How can anyone think it is ok for someone who is watching a sporting event on television and then call in a penalty to the officials who are supposed to be watching for those type of infractions be ok with that. Tiger is the most watched golfer during any event at any time on any hole. Doesn't make any sense at all. Probably the most ridiculous rule in sports.
  • Wow talk about haters lolz just cause no ones heard of this snitch's name he has to be haiting on others. Hey buddy GET OFF THE COUCH AND GET A LIFE. Stiches are for snitches and if I was Tiger I find a pretty good spot to shove my 9 iron into this dumba***. GET A LIFE AND STOP HAITING CAUSE YOU'LL NEVER BE LIKE TIGER GRRRR LMAO
  • The problem I have is that if they allow a veiwer, albeit a viewer with a vast knowledge of the game to call in, it is patently unfair to the top players, and they are being held to a standerd not being enforced on the rest of the field. I wonder how many infractions someone might have been able to catch if they had watched the entire field hit every shot. Tiger, Rory, Phil, are all opn tv almost the entire way, so they should not be penalized for being at the top of their sport. This is a case where golf, got it wrong. They should have thanked the man, told him to get a life and move on. Had an offical at the course said something, then by all means, follow all the rules and remove him from the tournament.
  • Unless I am mistaken this is not the first time a viewer has called in an infraction in golf and as they those who cant do teach and those who can do neither whine about those who can.
  • Might want to try to clean up the whole statement.
  • hawkeye63 is a typical bigoted Tiger hater and either get a life / get lost or be man enough to let go of your hate and jealousy!!!!
  • he probably has Tiger poster or Fathead in his garage... come out of closet tiger lover hawkeye!!
  • Where did these offical clowns come from, the NCAA? First of all, Tiger did not "cheat." He broke a rule. Second, I agree with everyone saying it is a travesty for officials to act on information supplied by selective VIEWERS AT HOME who SELECTIVELY observe the action within the constraints of television coverage. What a crock. Third, when the did act, they got all jelly legged and weak minded and struck some sort of ridiculous "compromise" by enforcing a lesser penalty because somehow Tiger 'could not have reasonably be expected to appreciate that he was breaking a rule?' Where is the ambiguity in his action with regard to the black and white rule???

    If you want to criticize someone, it should be the Keystone Club Officials. They behaved like a bunch of undisciplined buffoons.
  • maybe the rules are wrong and need to allow some leeway ..... like 3 or 4 feet in dropping!!!! As close as possible would be in the original divot and that as we all know is patently unfair. Tiger was already severely penalized for hitting a great shot. ..... yeah, from close to the green / on the fringe / within 20 yards maybe not a do-over. 20 or more yards away / 50 yards away / or more or whatever. golf needs to think outside the box on several situations!!!
  • Shouldn't the question be: Why did Tiger Woods knowingly cheat?.................. My answer is......... He's Desperate.
  • Tiger Woods didn't knowingly cheat, he mistakenly took an illegal drop. He has nothing to be desparate about
  • Well if anybody watched the interview with Tiger right after the round he said that he dropped the ball three or four yards behind where he originaly hit so he knew what he had done but apparently did not know it was illegal. So basically he ratted himself out.
  • Golf is a game in which its rules are held to a higher standard then any other sport. What other game has an expectation that a player will impose a penalty on himself when a rules violation is recognized. In my humble opinion the publication of the person who made notification of Tiger's infraction is totally inappropriate and fails to support the high standard of personal integrity which under lie the "Rules of Golf." Rather then question why a violation identified by an "outsider" was allowed one should ask Tiger why he did not disqualify himself from further play at the Masters (i.e., after signing an incorrect scorecard) once he understood that he had in fact had misplayed. Golf without personal integrity and responsibility is just another game.
  • I'm sure that years ago when television was limited or non existent, that many rules were violated with no penalty or disqualifications. The bottom line is no one should be able to call in because they saw a violation of the rule. When a man can throw his club or pound it on the ground destroying the turf and get no penalty or fine, then it's not just another game, it's a spoiled man's game.
  • Agreed.
  • It is just another game, who are you trying to kid.
  • "Golf is a game in which its rules are held to a higher standard then any other sport."

    What a pompous, arrogant and 'holier than thou" statement. Cheaters exist in all sports. Woods is a "cheater"! Always was, always has. Once a cheater always a cheater. In the game and in life.

    You are like the avid football fan who thinks PED's don't exist because it would taint your oh-so-loved sport. Get over it. Even Woods has been called out on PED's...yet you all upper-echelon refuse to look or even think it could happen in your sport.

    Smell the coffee and toss the Kool-Aid!
  • You would think the worlds number 1 player would know the rules.
  • So who told on him is more important than the fact that he cheated? Aren't there referees or something in golf to make sure players can't fudge when nobody's looking? Doesn't it undermine the integrity of the game? At least he didn't win the tournament!
  • As they say - once a cheater, always a cheater.
  • Tiger is not a likable guy. He ignores kids who want his autograph, he is rude to waiters and others in public....the man is a jerk, but he can play a mean game of Golf. So people have these mixed feelings about him. He is one of the best in the world at a popular sport, and he is a jerk. So if he makes a mistake, people are all over him. He has a sort of anti-people way about him. I think for the most part, he dislikes the public. But playing by the rules is what makes a civilization, not just a ball game. I think this experienced player, catching him from afar was a good thing. It means we are all accountable.
  • FIRST - put enough freakin officials on the course to spot these offenses. SECOND - NEVER take a call from outside the course, thus disallowing viewers to point out violations. This was not about "haters" as mentioned in the article. It was about right and wrong.
    The news media has put tw on a pedestal, and he's been allowed to play under 'different' rules before. Keep in mind that there have been MANY callers pointing out violations of the rules against other players - ask Fuzzy or ask DJ.
    Tw admitted that her dropped the ball to "gain an advantage". He broke the rule of signing a wrong card. The officials should have disqualified him, or he should have disqualified himself.
    Other golfers have been DQ'ed for the same offense, many times calling it on themselves.
    Tw has been proven to be a cheater in life, now in golf. Blame the officials first, for they think they need tw in a tourney. Then blame tw for being the same ole narcissistic cheater he has always been.
  • welcome to reality. could joe montana call the nfl on a holding
    play that got missed while the game was playing. and get in touch with his buddy the offical. officials are on the field the game goes on.
  • my complaint is that no one should be able to call in on any sport to state an infraction. And if the camaras are not on all the players all the time thats why it shouldnt be allowed.
  • Yes, Tiger forgot the rule, and stated himself how and why he dropped the way he did. The rule still applies, and the rule which allowed a two-stroke penalty instead of DQ was applied.

    Others have been DQ'd for forgetting rules. Bobby Jones once called a penalty on himself which cost him a championship.

    No one "tattled"
  • HAHA, all the people who call others 'haters' for not liking tiger wood are people who never stepped over a sideline or had the guts to compete in anything-you're wannabes that live through wood. Going to Tourneys and yelling crap like 'get in the hole' as soon as wood makes contact with the ball, and in general cheering for anything he does that all others (especially in MAJORS-HAHA) do better is funny to me. My favorite moments are when wood hits it bad or does something to take himself out of contention in a Major........your silence is beautiful music to me.
    Once you're labeled a cheater-especially in golf, it hangs on forever. Deal with it.........the cheat should've DQ-ed himself, but he has no class.
  • How does the opinion of someone , not in attendance, able to alter the outcome for a player ? And, how will this carry-over to other professional sports that have instant-replay ?
  • For ouimet, by your screen name I assume you know the integrity of the man whose name you have taken. You make the point on the question you ask.

    Golf shouldn't need instant reply or someone calling in, the player himself should have called the penalty.

    Pros are expected to know the rules, all the rules, and play accordingly.
  • Just goes to show once a cheater always a cheater, whether in his personal life or on the golf course.....
  • Jealousy wont't get you all anywhere...you haters all stuck in a dead end jobs making menial income and wish you were in Tiger's shoes... you all have had special treatment in your lives one way or the other and you all know who you are...get a life because jealousy is a desease...it's killin you all because he is rich and you are all poor..racist pigs..and I bet most of you all have cheated a many times in your lives...bunch of hypocryts...let that dead dog die...self righteous jerks
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