On the 14th hole of The Players Championship, Tiger Woods once again found himself in the middle of a dropped ball controversy.
Unfortunately, the network broadcast was unable to provide us with a definitive replay. But if we piece together images from the broadcast and overlay them on a Google Earth satellite image, we get a much clearer picture that suggests Woods took a drop in the wrong spot (click on image for a larger view)…
From the broadcast, we can see that Tiger teed up on the left side of the box. We can see where the ball hit the water in relation to the larger bunker. And we can see where Woods ultimately took his drop.
The green line is one possible flight path of the ball that would connect all three points. It also agrees with how Tiger described the drive when he said “I hit a pop-up big high hook, so it started way right and then it went way left. “
But there is a big problem with this flight path. Tiger appears to be aiming straight down the tee box (black arrow). And that would make it extremely difficult, even for Woods, to hit a ball well-right of where he is aiming, with a big hook near the end.
In addition, the ball appears to take a short skip once it hit the water. Both the ball and the splash are moving parallel to the shoreline, not away from it as would be needed for Woods to drop close to where the ball landed…
Of course, all of this moot since Woods’ playing partner, Casey Wittenberg, agreed with the drop spot. But based on these images, it would appear the drop spot was almost certainly incorrect.
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