Tiger Woods adjusts his sunglasses before hitting from the seventh hole during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Woods now is No. 13 in the world as he hosts this holiday tournament for the 20th time. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

Tiger Woods adjusts his sunglasses before hitting from the seventh hole during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at the Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Woods now is No. 13 in the world as he hosts this holiday tournament for the 20th time. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)

Woods spared penalty because of high-tech video evidence

NASSAU, Bahamas — Upon further review, Tiger Woods hit the ball more than once trying to escape from a palm bush.

And under an 18-month-old decision in the Rules of Golf, he avoided a penalty Friday in the Hero World Challenge because PGA Tour officials — and Woods — could only see the violation through a high-definition replay in slow motion.

The decision from May 2017 says that a player is not deemed to have broken a rule if it could not reasonably be seen with the naked eye.

“I didn’t feel like I made contact twice,” Woods said. “In slow motion, you can see I did hit it twice. But in real time, I didn’t feel that at all.”

Woods hit his tee shot right of the 18th fairway at Albany Golf Club barely into a palm bush. He took a stance with his right knee on the ground and his left leg extended to get an 8-iron around the ball, barely took the club back and punched — in real-time it looked more like a scoop — back to the light rough.

Questions immediately arose, starting with whether Woods pushed, scraped or spooned the shot (Rule 14-1a).

PGA Tour officials looked at the video and after a lengthy review determined that the ball struck the club twice.

“We did determine that he made a stroke at it,” said Mark Russell, vice-president of rules and competition, differentiating between spooning it. “And when he did that, Tiger said that he did not think he hit the ball twice. Looking at in the regular speed on a high definition television, you couldn’t tell that at all. But when you slowed it down to ultra-slow motion, high definition television, you could see where the club did stay on the clubface quite a bit of time, and it looked like he might have hit it twice.

“But there’s no way he could tell that.”

Woods walked out of the scoring area 25 minutes later with a smile, much different from how he walked in. Woods made double bogey on the last hole, dropping him to a 3-under 69 that left him eight shots out of the lead going into the weekend.

Golf has been out front in the use of advanced video for the last five years, and it responded again a year ago in May to respond to increasing debates over television reviews in golf.

Decision 34-3/9 reads in part, “Video technology, especially the use of methods such as high resolution or close-up camera shots that can be replayed in slow motion, has the potential to undermine this essential characteristic of the game by identifying the existence of facts that could not reasonably be identified in any other way.”

One incident that prompted the new decision involved Anna Nordqvist in a playoff at the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open when her club nicked the sand while she was playing from a fairway bunker. She was penalized for the violation, even though she could not have seen it with the naked eye.

In Friday’s case, Russell said Woods would have received a one-shot penalty if it was clear from real-time TV that he hit the ball more than once.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Two inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press File Photo)
2 Bowden inmates test positive for COVID-19

A pair of inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19.… Continue reading

Salons and barbershops are able to open on Monday, the Government of Alberta announced this week. (Photo courtesy Pixabay)
Red Deer salon owner “relieved” business can re-open next week

The owner of a Red Deer salon says she’s “definitely relieved” her… Continue reading

Red Deer Valhalla Pure Outfitters owner Darren Schaedeli has seen a significant increase in those looking to tackle winter experiences. Some are trying their hand at "hot tent camping" as he did in the West Country several weeks ago.
Photo contributed
Central Albertans enjoying the great outdoors this winter

Stir crazy and beach-deprived central Albertans are embracing the great outdoors this… Continue reading

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Updated: Jason Kenney kicks Lesser Slave Lake MLA out of caucus

Pat Rehn will not be permitted to run for UCP nominations

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

OTTAWA — British Columbia’s decision to seek legal advice on limiting travel… Continue reading

FILE - Joanne Rogers stands in front of a giant Mister Rogers Forever Stamp following the first-day-of-issue dedication in Pittsburgh on March 23, 2018. Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” has died. She was 92. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Joanne Rogers, widow of TV’s famed Mister Rogers, dies at 92

Joanne Rogers, an an accomplished concert pianist who celebrated and protected the… Continue reading

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
In mandate letter, PM tells Freeland to spend on temporary measures until crisis ends

OTTAWA — Emergency spending to deal with the COVID-19 crisis must not… Continue reading

President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during an event at The Queen theater, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Biden’s aid plan could revamp economy, prompt GOP resistance

BALTIMORE — The $1.9 trillion rescue plan unveiled by President-elect Joe Biden… Continue reading

The Cogeco logo is seen in Montreal on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Cogeco reports first-quarter profit and revenue up from year ago mark

Cogeco Inc. reported its first-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago… Continue reading

Regina Pats defenceman Libor Hajek (3) fights for control of the puck with WHL Swift Current Broncos forward Tanner Nagel (25) during third period Memorial Cup action in Regina on Wednesday, May, 23, 2018. Western Hockey League teams need at least 50 per cent of their fans in their arenas next season in order to operate, according to the league commissioner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Saskatchewan gives $4M to junior hockey after extending ban on team sports

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is giving $4 million to help junior… Continue reading

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief medical officer of health says British Columbia’s decision… Continue reading

Most Read