Woods handed two-shot penalty for moving his golf ball: video

Controversy as Woods handed two-shot penalty at BMW Championship.

We’re at the business end of the US PGA Tour season with 70 golfers playing the BMW Championship at
Conway Farms Golf Club. Every shot will count with just 30 golfers trying to squeeze their way into the season ending Tour Championship event next week, at claim the $10 million prize by winning the 2013 FedEx Cup.

Tiger Woods is assured of a spot in the Tour Championship event but will no doubt be a little hot under the collar after he was handed a two-shot penalty today for moving his golf ball.

Woods found the trees on the first hole of his second round at the BMW Championship and his ball moved slightly when he attempted to remove some debris near the ball. It’s subtle but the Nike logo does move away from its original position.

The video footage was captured by a freelance cameraman from behind the green who notified his boss and his boss notified tournament rules officials.¬†Woods claimed the ball ‘oscillated’ and returned to its original position but he was overruled, deemed to have violated Rule 18-2a and handed a two-shot penalty.

Editor’s note: As Woods did not replace his golf ball to its original position before taking his next shot, he was deemed to have also breached Rule 20-7. One stroke penalty for moving his golf ball and the second for hitting from the wrong place. (Thanks to Barry Rhodes for making this clear.)

Woods has been at the centre of several rules controversies this year, most notably at the US Masters when Woods avoided disqualification for an incorrect drop.

The notion that a TV viewer – or in this case an on-course cameraman – can phone in a concern is a murky issue. Woods is in the spotlight more than any other golfer and while it may seem petty, the ball does appear to move and the rules are the rules.

As to whether ‘call-in’s’ should be allowed – what do you think?

3 thoughts on “Woods handed two-shot penalty for moving his golf ball: video

  • September 15, 2013 at 01:41
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    Your headline and second sentence of 4th paragraph are misleading. In fact, Tiger Woods was penalised only one stroke for causing his ball to move, under Rule 18-2a. This penalty was increased to two strokes under Rule 20-7 when he failed to replace the ball where it was before he moved it and consequently played from the wrong place.

    Barry Rhodes

    Reply
    • September 15, 2013 at 21:04
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      Thanks Barry! You’re right. I’ll amend the article to make that clear.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2013 at 11:24
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    If you cant pick the movement with the naked eye why should people in the spotlight be penalised and others that are not on video not penalised, If a golfer says I don’t believe the ball moved or it moved and returned to its original place that should be the end of it. golf is supposed to be about self regulation and honesty,

    Reply

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