Tiger Woods was penalized two strokes after his BMW Championship second round because officials ruled that his ball moved as he moved nearby loose impediments before his third shot on Conway Farms’ first hole.
Woods hit an approach over the green and into brush on that 360-yard hole. He chipped short, chipped on and missed a putt, making what he thought was a double bogey. But Slugger White, PGA Tour vice president of rules and competitions, informed Woods in the scoring trailer after the round that video review showed that the world No. 1 player’s ball moved as Woods moved a stick before that first chip.
After White and Woods reviewed the video together in the scoring trailer behind the 18th green, Woods remained adamant that his ball oscillated in the same spot rather than moved, White said.
“But this video was at the site, and the ball did, in fact, move,” White said of the footage, which can be viewed on the Tour’s website.
A reporter standing outside the scoring trailer said there was a loud thump against an inside wall before Woods walked outside. The reporter’s sense was that Woods punched the wall in frustration, but White would neither confirm nor deny.
“Let’s just say there was frustration,” White said. “He was a little disbelieving.”
Woods stormed out of the trailer and, instead of stopping in the nearby interview area as usual, walked quickly by a group of reporters. One radio reporter followed him to his car, but Woods got in and drove off.
Because of the two-stroke penalty for violating Rule 18-2a, Woods made 8 instead of 6 on the opening hole and shot 72 instead of 70. The penalty dropped him from a tie for fourth and five shots off the midway lead to a tie for 13th and seven back.
Had Woods moved the ball back to its original spot, he would have been penalized one stroke, White said. Because he didn’t, he received two.
A freelance videographer for PGA Tour Entertainment captured the video of Woods moving loose impediments and notified his supervisor, who in turn alerted Tour headquarters. Andy Pazder, Tour chief of operations, then called White.
White said Tour officials learned of the situation as Woods was on the third or fourth hole.