Tiger Woods BMW Invitational Rules Controversy

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, September 16th, 2013
Categories: FedEx CupPGA TourPro GolfTiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Did Tiger see his ball move at the 2013 BMW?

Admittedly, I have not watched the BMW Championship. Like many golf viewers, I find my interest in watching professional golf wanes as college and NFL football season begins. It also wanes when the final major championship is over, the PGA Championship.

Jim Furyk shot a 28 on the back nine Friday at the BMW, his first nine hole. Amazing. 6th time in PGA Tour history. 59’s are becoming more and more common. The bar is moving lower and lower. Nice job Jim.

I did manage to watch footage of Tiger Woods’s rules violation Friday. I tend to not write much about Tiger as the rest of the golf media nauseatingly over-covers him. But I felt this time I would share some thoughts on his quadruple bogey Friday.

On his first hole Friday, Tiger knocked a shot into some trees. Inside the trees Tiger then began moving loose impediments. No problem. He was working away at moving small twigs and rocks until he came upon a larger twig next to his ball. He started to move the twig and the ball moved. He immediately stopped moving the twig and paused. It was at that time that I expected Tiger would have called a rules official or his playing partner over to inform them that he caused his ball to move. He did nothing of the sort. He proceeded to hit his shot, make double bogey on the hole and move on.

A few holes later Woods was assessed a two stroke penalty for causing his ball to move. Woods denied that he moved the ball. PGA Tour rules official Slugger White played the video for Woods several times before Woods accepted the penalty and walked off.

Later unverified reports stated that Woods punched a wall in anger. He still contends that the ball “oscillated,” meaning that it moved but returned to its original position. The video however, shows clearly that the ball did move.

The penalty would have only been one stroke if Woods would have proceeded properly and put his ball back to its original position. Since Woods didn’t return the ball to the proper position, he was assessed another penalty stroke.

What I Saw

I clearly saw the ball move, as did the PGA Tour’s rules official Slugger White. I find it odd that Woods stopped at the very moment the ball moved, no longer moving any more impediments, yet says he didn’t see the ball move.  Tiger would have been a hero to the press if he would have called the penalty on himself.  He would also be one one shot closer to the lead.

What are your thoughts on this? Did he see the ball move and knowingly cheat by not calling a penalty on himself? Only one person really knows, Tiger.  Perhaps he saw the ball oscillate and return to its original position? Or did he not see anything? If you think he didn’t see anything, how could he not, as he was moving a stick right by the ball? If he didn’t see the ball move, why did he suddenly stop when the ball moved?

I’d like to hear your opinion on this.

19 responses to “Tiger Woods BMW Invitational Rules Controversy”

  1. Steven says:

    The next day, Tiger admitted he saw the ball “oscillate”. That was his attempt at justifying his actions – he knew the ball moved, he knows it’s a penalty, and he was trying to excuse not calling it on himself immediately. Poor form all around by Tiger.

  2. Marcos Sobron says:

    Allready 3 souspicious situations in less than 5 months. UMMMM

  3. Jim says:

    One thing that separates golf from other sports is that we call our own penalties. It seems with this (and previous offenses this year) that Tiger has forgotten that this is a “gentleman’s game”. Its sad that the game’s best golfer appears to resort to cheating, to winning at all costs. Tiger’s rise has assisted in golf’s rise, I hope his fall doesn’t bring golf down with him.

  4. Thanks for the comment Marcos. UMMMM is right.

  5. Great comments Jim. Thanks for chiming in and stopping by.

  6. jim says:

    Interesting I didn’t see any closeup video of any other golfer out there all week. Seems too many people can’t wait to see something bad happen to Tiger.

  7. mitchosu says:

    1st, that twig touch, and then pause – that is exactly my move. It is the pause while your brain says “crap that moved”. You do start to try and convince yourself it just oscillated, Tiger is perhaps better at that self-convincing than most are. You know what they say about his mental strength. Now he should have called it – no doubt about it. The next part of the penalty, failure to reset the ball. In this case, how would that have been done exactly? if you replaced your ball when it moved a half inch or more, resetting it to within a quarter inch is about the best you could do. In this case, it didn’t move a quarter inch. Resetting the ball would be removal of the ball, reset the twig, and then try and build that structure back. I would say, call the penalty, and you can’t reset it any closer than it already is.

  8. mitchosu says:

    Another part of the Tiger defense goes that it is unfair because he is covered in HD by multiple cameras all the time. That is a ridiculous argument. Isn’t that why he is paid what he is paid by Nike and his other sponsors? He makes 10 times more money at those sponsorships than he does playing golf, and the point is to be watched. So he isn’t living under those conditions, he has created the conditions where he is watched all the time.

    Now one thing about the Masters- he should have been DQ’d. In that case, he benefitted from being Tiger. Had Ernie Els done that? Out. Phil might have gotten the favorable ruling, but he might have withdrawn anyway – but outside of those two, nobody would have received the consideration that Tiger did that day.

  9. Colin Mieczkowski says:

    Honestly, I have no problem with the call, because in too many sports, we see the ‘Big time stars” not get any call of the sort so I think it’s about time some as big as Tiger gets a call and yes the media talks about him way too much.


  10. Josh says:

    I feel there are two parts to discuss on these actions.

    1) In the moment. At the moment of the infraction, it is highly probable that Tiger saw the ball move slightly and truly believed it oscillated. He clearly saw the ball move since he removed his hand from the stick immediately. In the moment, he could have believed the ball did not turn and went on playing as such. Both Furyk and Stricker commented that it is hard to tell when a ball oscillates or changes position in a live situation.

    2) After video replays. It is important to note this would likely not even be a discussion if it were any other player as it would be unlikely that a camera would be covering someone else’s shot. However, super-slow mo, hi-def video does confirm that the ball moved. It is very surprising that Woods still contends the ball oscillated after watching the video. Woods should have backed off that statement.

    With all of that, Woods should have called an official over and told him what he saw, and a discussion and (likely) penalty would have been assessed at that time. Other players have done that, and Woods should have as well.

    I don’t equate this situation and the Master’s situation the same. The drop at the Master’s had been initially cleared by officials and came back to light during post-round interviews. Tiger clearly made the Master’s drop with a stated intent of having different yardage. I categorize that as a wrong decision made while in a state of shock. I know I would not be thinking clearly if I had nailed a chip to a couple feet (in my head) only to see it carom into the water. However, the Conner Farms situation looks very straight forward.

    Tony is right – Woods would have earned significant respect if he would have called an official and been assessed a penalty on the spot.

  11. John Duval says:

    The bottom line for me is this: Either he has bad eyesight or he cheated. You decide.

  12. Linksman says:

    Moved? Did not move? I don’t really care. I just wish the guy would lighten up and look happy every now and again. He would get so much better press if he did.





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