Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Tiger misses cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship due to a two-shot penalty. Interestingly enough, world number one Rory McIlroy also missed the cut for the tournament. Called a “bizarre circumstance,” Tiger Woods missed the cut due to an embedded shot that has many golf fans wondering if Tiger got gypped.
Tiger Woods had struck a wayward shot into a desert bush and, after consulting playing partner Martin Kaymer, the pair agreed he should be allowed a free drop because it had become embedded. The tournament regulations, however, only allow for a free drop in such circumstances if the ball has finished anywhere but in sand.
The European Tour’s Andy McFee explains to ESPN the distinction in the golf tournament’s rules:
“It’s just one of these situations that both he and Martin, unfortunately, got that rule wrong. Under the rules of the game, on all tours, the embedded ball only applies on a closely-mown area. All tours use the note to that rule which extends it through the green, which means everyone on the golf course except hazards. But it’s very specific that rule, and it refers to ground other than sand. Now unfortunately this area, whilst it’s got vegetation on top of it, it’s just creeping vegetation and sand, as most is the off-grass areas here. Once we had found out what had gone on, we investigated it.”
According to Reuters, Martin Kaymer said he and Woods were unaware of the distinction in the rule between grass and sand:
“The referee came up to us on the 11th hole and said the sand area was not like normal grass so he was apparently not allowed a free drop. I didn’t know about it and he obviously didn’t know about it otherwise he wouldn’t have done it. It’s an unfortunate thing.”
The 37-year-old Tiger Woods spoke to reporters after eventually posting a three-over-par 75 for a three-over tally of 147:
“It’s tough because I didn’t get off to a good start but I fought and got it back. I was right there and I felt if I was even-par overall I had a chance going into the weekend, being only eight back of the leader (Britain’s Justin Rose). Evidently it wasn’t enough.”
According to ESPN, the 2-stroke penalty for taking an improper drop cost Tiger Woods a chance to compete on the weekend at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where he was receiving a $3 million appearance fee.
What do you think about these golf rules as Tiger misses the cut?