Tiger assessed 2-shot penalty for illegal drop

9:17 AM, Apr 13, 2013   |    comments
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Augusta, GA (Sports Network) - Tiger Woods' hill to climb for a fifth Masters title just got steeper.

Woods has reportedly been assessed a two-stroke penalty for an illegal drop on Friday and will start the third round of the year's first major at 1-under- par, five shots behind leader Jason Day.

The Masters has not yet released a statement, but various media outlets, including the Golf Channel and ESPN, have reported that officials have given Woods a two-shot penalty.

Speculation of a possible disqualification was rampant Saturday morning after Woods' penalty drop on the par-5 15th hole Friday came into question.

Woods' third shot hit the flagstick and rolled back into the water that fronts the green. He had options under Rule 26-1 that included playing from a drop area or going back to the original spot and taking a drop from "nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played." Woods said in interviews afterward that he went two yards farther back, which made the drop questionable.

"I went down to the drop area, that wasn't going to be a good spot, because obviously it's into the grain, it's really grainy there," Woods said about his decision on the 15th hole. "And it was a little bit wet. So it was muddy and not a good spot to drop.

"So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit. And that should land me short of the flag and not have it either hit the flag or skip over the back. I felt that was going to be the right decision to take off four right there. And I did. It worked out perfectly."

In the past, Woods would have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

However, a rule change recently enacted protects a player from automatic disqualification after signing an incorrect scorecard if that player unknowingly violated a rule. A two-stroke penalty can then be assessed instead.

The Sports Network

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