Woods Cites No Marshalls Present For 17th Hole Penalty ‘New Rules’ Drop Blunder.

It was not Tiger Woods fault for a penalty drop blunder at the famed 17th hole on day two of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Yes, Woods hit not one but two balls into the water in walking off with a crippling triple-bogey ‘7’.

In 17 prior Players appearances in teeing-up on the 17th Woods had found the water surrounding 17 on just four occasions.

However, it has come to light Woods, and under the new rules introduced on January 1st, could have saved himself two shots at 17 had he known where his tee-shot on 17 found the water.

Tiger’s first tee shot did not land directly in the hazard, or hit off the side of a bulkhead and drop into the water. Instead, his ball landed on the back of the green, bounced, and then rolled off the edge of a yellow-lined pathway behind the green.

The yellow line is the key and had Woods been aware where his tee shot had crossed the hazard he could have taken a drop from the pathway and possibly salvaged a bogey ‘4’ and not taken a ‘7’ after taking a penalty drop from the designated penalty zone.

This PGA Tour graph of Tiger Woods tee shot on 17 is slightly wrong as his ball went down the path at the back of the green before going into the water.

The PGA Tour’s Mark Russell explained:  “With the new rule you get a club length on each side so he could have been [just inside the hazard] and gone out a club length and played from there.

“Also, that was probably the only pin you could have done that because he can keep that point [where the ball went in the hazard] between himself and the hole. It was just that particular situation. He would get a club length to the left if he wanted but he can’t do that because he would have gone in the water.”

The incident only came to light long after play on Friday when the Golf Channel visited the spot and highlighted where Woods could have saved himself probably as many as three shots.

Woods was asked about the incident following his third round 72 to remain at three-under.

“I talked to DD (David Duval) about it last night and I didn’t realize that, where my ball had crossed, where my ball — I thought it had crossed on the green and just hopped over the back and that was it,” said Wood.

“Go right to the drop area and I ended up seeing Haotong do the same thing, he hit the ball same spot as I did, dropped it back in the drop zone and went about playing his hole.

“And unfortunately I just didn’t know that where the ball had crossed. There’s no marshals up there and so it is what it is.

Qn. Have you ever seen anybody do that though? I mean have you ever seen anybody take a drop there after the ball goes in that way, seems pretty remote.

“The only time I’ve ever seen it was when we had the old steps, the wooden steps going through there and the guys would hit it and it would hop on the wood and then go down there,” said Woods.

“But it was, it’s halfway down the walk path and then, yeah, I’ve seen guys do that before, but not to where we hit it.

Qn. Would you have known?

“Unless a marshal told us, if we had a marshal up there to tell us that that’s where it had crossed, then I would have had that option, but I didn’t know.

Qn. But you would have known you had that option under the new rule.

“If I had known where the ball had crossed, exactly, yeah,” he replied.

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