Former PGA Tour player and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Dick Zokol, now at Predator Ridge in Vernon, B.C., disagrees with a stand Hutch took on the Tiger Woods drop controversy at the Masters. You can read Hutch’s column here.
Unlike Nick Faldo, Brandel Chamblee, Greg Norman and a number of former PGA Tour players who called for Tiger to “man up” and withdraw, or DQ himself, prior to the third round of the 2013 Masters, I say, why should a player WD or DQ himself for playing within the rules?
Tiger did the right thing and toughed it out during the third round.
By the way, if Roberto De Vicenzo’s inadvertent breach of the rules happened today (which would be close to impossible because of the scoring systems in place and how officials check every shot of every player in every event) it would have the same result as what played out in 68.
Rule 33-7 only waives the possibility of DQ, not the penalty strokes of the breach. There was no breach with Tiger until Tiger spoke about his intentions. Then, the Rules Committee acted fast as possible to assess the two-stroke penalty.
To imply that De Vicenzo wasn’t important enough to not warrant the rules committee to overrule his breach is simply offside.
Rule 33-7 was incorporated last year for situations that arise from time to time that many in the game have been complaining about because they don’t like the automatic DQ to those who find out there was a breach after the scorecard has been signed.
This situation is the first case after the rule was implemented and it happened to Tiger on the 15th hole of the second round of the Masters. Do you actually believe that they looked at the person who breached the rule, then made a ruling with ratings and merchandising in mind?
The introduction of Rule 33-7 now has proven to be controversial.
The ambiguity and subjective nature that allows Rules Committees to pass judgment will now become problematic in the game moving forward. The 2013 Masters is a perfect example with the likes of Nick Faldo and Brandel Chamblee claiming Tiger should do the right thing and DQ himself from the tournament.
Personally, I did like rule 33-7 because it takes accountability and responsibility out of the hands of the player. The introduction of this rule moved the game in the wrong direction and it showed up this past weekend.
Having said that and because Rule 33-7 is part of the rules today, it saved Tiger, but he did play within the rules. Why should he DQ himself for playing within the rules?
To suggest Tiger should DQ himself for public image is ridiculous. Blame the rule not the player.