KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If Tiger Woods was ever accused of bending the rules of golf, he was in the right place to do it. Nowhere is a golfer more insulated and protected than Augusta National.
The Masters committee tried its best to cover up Tiger's bad drop, but Woods wouldn't let them. After the committee decided there would be no penalty, Tiger said in an interview that he chose to take a favorable drop, which clearly gave him an advantage.
According to Woods, he had a better lie and yardage for the next shot, which he executed beautifully.
After hearing Woods' description of what happened, the committee slept on it and then reversed its stance -– acknowledging that Tiger did indeed break the rule and would be given a two-stroke penalty.
Many so-called experts at the Golf Channel and other broadcast outlets initially suggested Woods should withdraw from the tournament after signing an incorrect scorecard.
But wait a minute.
Having eight hours to sleep on it, the committee delivered what Nick Faldo called "a get out of jail card".
It's a new rule put into effect for the first time to protect golfers when there's a question concerning the interpretation of the rules.
The Masters committee clearly screwed up by not informing Woods at the time, of the rules violation.
Look, there's no free pass for Tiger, either. A professional of his stature, no. 2 on the all-time list of PGA victories -- he should know the rules.
There was no way this tournament would disqualify the most famous golfer in the world. No way.
I love the Masters and all of its tradition, but the way they handled this messy controversy leaves a lot to be desired.
In addition to the Tiger fiasco, look what they did to that eighth grader from China who captured the hearts and imagination of golf fans worldwide with his outstanding play. They penalized the teenager stroke for slow play.
It's a joke.
Here they are, launching a campaign during the tournament to recruit young golfers, and they pull this stuff.
It was an embarrassment to the sport.
That's Jack's Smack.