Embedded ball rule featuring Tiger Woods

Here is a rule worth remembering for when you make it on the professional tour.

Jamie Donaldson played some wonderful golf to win the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship over the weekend. Aside from a three-putt on the final hole, his putting on the final day was particularly strong and managed to hold off challenges from Justin Rose and Thorbjorn Olesen.

The other big story from the tournament was the early exit of the world number one and two ranked players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods wasn’t playing very well in his opening tournament. Putting well but spraying shots all over the place (including a topped shot on Thursday) Woods was battling to make the cut and looked to have done so before he was handed a two-penalty for incorrectly ruling his ball was embedded.

We’ve covered the embedded ball rule before at Aussie Golfer but like many things, it’s not quite the same if you’re a professional golfer.

You see the rules of golf, and specifically Rule 25-2 Embedded Ball, that says;

A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown area through the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole.

But in the world of professional golf, most tours have a local rule in place to extend the embedded ball rule to any part of the golf course through the green including the rough, but specifically excluding hazards and sandy areas. Boy they get it easy don’t they?

After confirming with playing partner Martin Kaymer that his ball was embedded, Woods assumed he was entitled to free relief. He dropped and chipped out top eventually made bogey.

The trouble was he wasn’t aware that the embedded ball rule excluded sandy areas. He was slapped with a two-shot penalty and ended up missing the cut by one shot.

“I thought my ball was embedded, so I called Martin over. He agreed. But Andy (McFee) ruled that I had broken an infraction there and consequently got a two-shot penalty and I had two shots.” Woods said after the round.

“It’s tough because I didn’t get off to a very good start today and I fought and got it back. I was right there and I felt that if I had close to even par, I had a chance going into the weekend, being only eight back. Evidently, it wasn’t enough.”

The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship reportedly forked out $4million to get the best two golfers in the world to the event. Unfortunately both McIlroy and Woods both missed the cut.

In Woods’ case, it was a tough way to bow out.

2 thoughts on “Embedded ball rule featuring Tiger Woods

  • Tiger was really unlucky! sad not to see him pass the cut this we!

  • Golf is their profession and they should know the rules. They are highly paid for what they do and seem to rely on others to know the rules. Tough but fair.


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