Tiger Woods managed to hang on and win the Players Championship this afternoon but it wasn’t without a little controversy.
Woods, who was penalized during the Masters for making an illegal drop, found himself in a similar situation today after the 14th hole. Woods knocked a shot off the fairway into the pond and was forced to take a drop.
NBC golf commentator Johnny Miller questioned the legality of Tiger’s drop and a new controversy was born.
The PGA, however, squashed any questions about Tiger’s drop saying that there was no “definitive evidence” that Woods gave himself an unfair advantage with the drop.
The PGA said in a statement: “Without definitive evidence, the point where Woods’ ball last crossed the lateral water hazard is determined through best judgement by Woods and his fellow competitor. If that point later proves to be a wrong point (through television or other means), the player is not penalized by Rule 26-1 given the fact that a competitor would risk incurring a penalty every time he makes an honest judgment as to the point where his ball last crosses a water-hazard margin and that judgment subsequently proves incorrect (Decision 26-1/17).”
In addition to the drop controversy, Woods’ poor shot on 14 put his lead in jeopardy. The golfer had a two shot lead heading into the 14th but left the hole tied with Sergio Garcia.
The battle between the two golfers was short lived, however, as Garcia knocked his ball into the water on the 17th hole. Tiger finished 13 under par to win his 78th career PGA Tour victory.
Woods said: “It was tough. I was in control of the tournament and got to 14 tee and just hit the worst shot I could possibly hit. And then, you know, made double bogey there but just stayed really patient … I kept telling myself, ‘That’s the only bad swing I’ve made all day and there’s no reason why I can’t still win this golf tournament.'”
This is Tiger’s 4th win in 2013 and his 78th career PGA Tour victory. Tiger is quickly closing on Sam Snead, who has the most PGA Tour victories of all time with 82.