August 26, 2006

Tiger's tale: Did Tiger Woods get away with one on Friday? Had that been anyone else would they have recieved the same treatment?

posted by jknemo to golf at 02:19 PM - 23 comments

I'm not sure how he "got away with one". The officials were there, they made a ruling based on the accepted rules of the course (and the PGA) and he played his next shot. Are you suggesting they would have broken the rules for some other golfer and made him take extra penalty strokes? Golf is one of the sports where players rarely even TRY to bend the rules, since there is almost always someone watching that will rat them out if they do. Unless there is some rule violation that you suspect they committed during the decision process for Woods, your accusation suggests more "anti-Tiger" than "pro-rules".

posted by grum@work at 03:04 PM on August 26, 2006

Nope. Not in a nationally televised event and a multitude of PGA specialists in the hizzy. The rules as interpreted had been in place for long before this week. Also, there's already a thread about this.

posted by chicobangs at 03:49 PM on August 26, 2006

First I heard of this. No, Tiger did not get special treatment. PGA officials wiil bend the rules for NOBODY, they are probably the strictest officials in any sport.

posted by Psycho at 04:36 PM on August 26, 2006

No, a rule is a rule. Its a good call on the officials. I was glad to see this correct rule interpatation so I wouldn't have to see Tiger cuss,cry or bang his club on the ground.

posted by odtaylor3 at 05:00 PM on August 26, 2006

As it turns out Tiger is not only a better golfer than everyone else he also happens to be luckier than everyone else. But no, I agree with previous comments, PGA officials don't bend rules for anyone and it isn't like they are judging a fumble between two 300 lb guys at full speed. The game of golf by nature makes it easier for officials not to make mistakes.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:53 PM on August 26, 2006

As it turns out Tiger is not only a better golfer than everyone else he also happens to be luckier than everyone else. Luck and skill go hand in hand with each other. To be the best, there has to be some degree of luck involved.

posted by t money at 07:02 PM on August 26, 2006

He's simply the best. To say that he was illegally helped by the officials is totally bogus.

posted by Kendall at 09:03 PM on August 26, 2006

Tiger is the best player in golf but he is also the sport's biggest attraction and by far its most compelling marketing figure. When viewer interest in an event may be questionable and millions of dollars in advertising at stake, the PGA tour has a great incentive to keep its biggest draw at the top of the leaderboard. It is possible that some lesser player would have gotten the same ruling, but with Tiger getting past breaks like fans moving boulders out of his way and jumping up to knock his errant shot from going further into the trees (which happened at Medinah ) there is some legitimate ground for suspicion.

posted by judgedread at 11:24 PM on August 26, 2006

It is possible that some lesser player would have gotten the same ruling, but with Tiger getting past breaks like fans moving boulders out of his way and jumping up to knock his errant shot from going further into the trees (which happened at Medinah ) there is some legitimate ground for suspicion. Those are fans. Those aren't PGA officials, who are going to be scrutinized by other "amateur" officials on TV and on-site; of which some are not fans of Tiger Woods. Your continuing anti-Tiger crusade on Sportsfilter is getting played out. You might want to find another schtick.

posted by grum@work at 12:37 AM on August 27, 2006

tiger woods is a robot.

posted by jakeamo15 at 12:53 AM on August 27, 2006

Why is he a robot? Because he went to Stanford, and can handle big-time pressure better than anyone since Jordan or maybe Pele? I remember a camera shot from yesterday. It was late in the round. He was still digging out of that four-straight-bogeys stretch, and he had a 40-footer for birdie. As the ball arced toward the hole, the camera had his face in the shot, and you could see a real "this-is-why-I-love-this-game" smile creeping across his face from the eyes down, like he was walking into a surprise birthday party or something. And then, when the ball missed the hole by a quarter inch or so, his expression sank, he lost fully two inches of height, and you could very clearly see him mouth the words, "Son of a bitch," before smacking the golf bag in disgust. Yeah. Just like a robot.

posted by chicobangs at 01:58 AM on August 27, 2006

I can see how it might be perceived that there was rather more fuss surrounding Tiger getting this ruling than there might have been if some journeyman had hit the same shot, but the journeyman would have gotten the same ruling. The only thing that strikes me as slightly odd (and even then only because I'm obviously not as familiar with the rule as I thought I was) is that they didn't actually find his ball within the alotted five minutes, instead they merely established what had happened to it. Hell, I can do that when I lose a ball (it went in that acre of neck-high grass... again), but I don't get a free drop. Otherwise, the ruling is spot on - the grandstand's an immovable, line of sight relief from it, end of story. Would be more fun for a member hitting the same shot next weekend - amateurs don't get line of sight relief. As an aside, nice to read about DL3 and see his mental state is so positive: "The last thing I need to think about is how good Tiger is playing and what a streak he's on, and how I need to a win and how nice it would be to go to Kapalua [for the winners-only Mercedes Championships] and all those things," Love said. "I've just got to concentrate on playing a round of golf and let the rest take care of itself." he said, thinking about all those things. Such a shame he's not coming over for the Ryder Cup.

posted by JJ at 05:49 AM on August 27, 2006

To me, the thing that makes Tiger most watchable is that he routinely does the things that I am forced to do to make par. He's the real life version of Magic-Bird's "off the satillite, off the moon...nothing but net". How often do you see Philly fatass hit an unorthodox out of the trees shot, and then SPRINT to the fairway to see it land on the green, "just like I played it"? The old man used to say, "Jealousy beats the piss out of talent every time, son". After hearing the whining over this, I'm starting to believe it...

posted by wolfdad at 07:48 AM on August 27, 2006

It's hard to say how some of those crazy rulings will ever play out. But, it kind of reminds me of when Tiger hit his ball behind that big boulder several years back, and it (the boulder) was judged to be an obstruction that could be moved, just like a stick, small stone, etc. Then, several spectators proceed to get behind the boulder and push and heave it out of the way. A bit of a stretch, I'd say, but every move Tiger makes on the course is followed closely, scrutinized, and re-scrutinized. I guess to get a real idea of how rulings on the course are made we'd have to see all rulings made throughout tournaments with all players.

posted by dyams at 08:51 AM on August 27, 2006

Well, dyams, we do. These decisions are made all the time, every day, in every tournament. This one happened to be at 18 with Tiger instead of on the 7 or wherever with Joe Schmoe Down The Money List, but really, no sport is more codified, more regulated, more cut-and-dried on an moment-by-moment, level, than golf. This isn't like Tim Duncan getting a call where Michael Olowokandi wouldn't. The people who decide on these things in golf are the most picayune, nitpicky, deliberate bunch of rule-book fundamentalists you'll ever meet. For the officials to have given Tiger Woods any special treatment at all would have been out of the question.

posted by chicobangs at 10:03 AM on August 27, 2006

I'm amazed by the rule, not the ruling. Like most of the players, I can't believe that shot wasn't out of bounds. Before the tournament started, the officials actually decided that it would be a good idea that one of these golfers should play a shot from the clubhouse sidewalk, or the course across the street, or (it sounds like) from the CENTERLINE of the friggin' street, for that matter. Now there's a challenging shot for you. Hit that baby off the double yellow, son! Still, crazy as it may sound, it's pretty clear that that's the way the rule was set out before the event even began, so to claim that the ruling was some sort of favoritism to Tiger implies that the planners knew ahead of time that he'd miss this shot onto the roof and that it would end up in a position relative to the stands that would require him to be allowed the drop...oh, and there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll...and 9/11 was an inside job...and aliens have infiltrated our societies at the highest levels...Sheesh!

posted by ctal1999 at 10:12 AM on August 27, 2006

oh, and there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll... Naw, that was Mickelson playing his second at the 72nd hole at Winged Foot...

posted by mjkredliner at 10:24 AM on August 27, 2006

It may be impossible for the TV audience to make a determination about whether Tiger got his ball back, I did not see him actually do the identification of his ball necessary under the rule, but there is no question that he got a lot more than 5 minutes to look for it and that is not provided by the rules. I would like to see if Tiger could actually hit the "temporary" obstruction he got relief from which he had a clear 90 yd. shot to the green. From the location that the ball was found, I do not think he could actually hit that "temporary" obstruction as he was blocked by the "permanent" one in the form of the Clubhouse. Did he get a break, yes he did, he got at least two, and if he wins it is a travesty! That rules official should be fired too, he blew it bad!

posted by awslaid at 10:56 AM on August 27, 2006

Cough cough BS cough cough

posted by mjkredliner at 11:12 AM on August 27, 2006

Yeah, but awslaid, he got a break that would have been given to any other player in that tournament. Or do you think the parking lot is out of bounds for everyone except Tiger? It looks stupid from here, but the whole sport is predicated on the idea that it's consistently stupid. The rules about how bleachers and different kinds of buildings are to be treated are codified to the letter, and you can bet that while this is the first time Tiger's ever had to deal with something like this, many others have had this problem before him, and certainly the official who made the decision has been through this scenario many times with many golfers who've hit more balls into the parking lot than Tiger ever will. They know the drill.

posted by chicobangs at 04:01 PM on August 27, 2006

One more thing: They actually did find the ball inside of five minutes. (Just barely, but they worked out what happened & tracked the guy down almost immediately.) The rest of the time was for making absolutely sure the rule was interpreted properly. And now that the "travesty" has actually happened, I see such a hue & cry from the other golfers and commentators. What a groundswell of protest. Did you see it? What do you mean, "no?"

posted by chicobangs at 06:02 PM on August 27, 2006

If he ever figgers out them par 3's, he has a chance of keepin' his card.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:06 PM on August 27, 2006

Whether Tiger sucks on par 3's or whatever, he just won the Bridgestone Invitational.

posted by Kendall at 09:37 PM on August 27, 2006

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