Even though Tiger Woods ended up admitting to a double-hit, he avoided any penalty at the Hero World Challenge.
While Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman were duking it out at the Australian PGA Championship, Tiger Woods and 17 of his mates were playing for a boatload of world ranking points in The Bahamas.
The Hero World Challenge was won by Spain’s Jon Rahm but Tiger Woods had a few issues along the way to finishing second-last.
At the 18th hole during his second round, Woods found his golf ball under a bush with very little room to play the shot. But play the shot he did and on first look, it appears Woods got the golf ball out just fine.
“Did he hit the ball twice?”
It’s been determined there’s no penalty for Tiger Woods on the 18th hole. pic.twitter.com/xMCUAnBkcB
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 30, 2018
But on slo-mo replay it’s clear Woods double-hit the golf ball. Or scooped it out.
Woods was called over by officials after the round and while Woods did not think he double-hit the golf ball when he played the shot he admitted the replay shows he did.
“I didn’t feel like I made contact twice.” Woods said. “It was such a short little shot, I was just trying to hit it sideways there.”
“Under slow motion and high-def, you can see that the ball hit the clubface twice. But there’s no penalty.”
The reason Woods escaped penalty is because of the new rule that was brought in a few years ago to deal with spectators phoning in rules discretions. It says that if the rules infraction could only be seen with slow-motion video evidence, then no penalty will apply.
Interestingly, this rule will be changed next year. The changes to the rules of golf that begin on January 1, 2019 say that there will be no penalty if a player accidentally double-hits the golf ball.
And while the PGA Tour’s vice-president of rules and competitions said Woods did scrape or scoop the golf ball (which would be in violation of Rule 14-1a, I’m still not so sure.