AS DAVID Eger, a Champions Tour player, was identified as the man who flagged up Tiger Woods’ illegal drop in last month’s Masters, the game’s ruling bodies yesterday sent out a warning over a player’s obligations to return a correct scorecard.
While the R&A and USGA have confirmed that Masters officials were right not to disqualify Woods over that particular infringement in the season’s opening major, they insist that it has not set a precedent.
In a joint statement, the two bodies have confirmed that Woods was only spared disqualification on “exceptional facts”, namely the Masters committee’s failure to inform him that there had been concerns about a drop at the 15th in his second round before signing his scorecard. “The Woods ruling should not be viewed as a general precedent for relaxing or ignoring a competitor’s essential obligation under the Rules to return a correct scorecard,” said the statement.
“Further, although a committee should do its best to alert competitors to potential Rules issues that may come to its attention, it has no general obligation to do so; and the fact that a committee may be aware of such a potential issue before the competitor returns his scorecard should not, in and of itself, be a basis for waiving a penalty of disqualification under Rule 6-6d.
“Only a rare set of facts, akin to the exceptional facts at the 2013 Masters Tournament, would justify a committee’s use of its discretion to waive a penalty of disqualification for returning an incorrect scorecard.” Meanwhile, Eger has been revealed as the television viewer who alerted officials to the incorrect drop made by Woods, according to Sports Illustrated.
“I could see there was a divot – not a divot, a divot hole – when he played the shot the second time that was not there the first time,” Eger, a one-time senior director of rules and competition at the USGA told the magazine.