Correcting the flawed process: the Masters/Tiger precedent

mulligan, 18 October 2005, Comments Off on Correcting the flawed process: the Masters/Tiger precedent
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So some have asked me what the LPGA should have done instead of resorting to the “recreation” of Saturday on Sunday that I, along with others, have criticized. It’s very simple, and here’s a first: I’m agreeing with mulligan on this one. I think it’s OK for the Rules Official to go to the videotape and to call in the player to discuss it. But, if the videotape is inconclusive, then the Rules Official needs to let the player, exercising his or her own integrity, to decide whether he or she committed any rules violation. Golf ultimately is a game of honor, regulated by each golfer’s own conscience. There’s no better authority on this than The Golf Blog’s own Jason, who wrote this marvelous post about it earlier this month.

At this year’s Masters, that procedure is exactly what Will Nicholson, chairman of the Masters Competition Committtee followed. Tiger had been suspected of violating the Rule against “standing astride … the line of his putt” on the 14th hole of Augusta. Tiger was questioned about it at length after the round. The Rules Officials replayed the video for Tiger and questioned him about it during an extended discussion. “We reviewed the tape with Tiger of his second putt at No. 14, and that tape was inconclusive,” said Nicholson. “No penalty will be assessed.” The Masters officials had the good sense in not demanding Woods to “recreate” his putting stance from earlier in the day. The ultimate call, in that case, was left to Mr. Tiger Woods, who stood by his own word that he had not violated the rule. Case closed.


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