Tiger Woods took a drop after he hit his drive in the water at the 14th hole yesterday, and now there’s another illegal drop controversy.
He had to drop as close as possible to the point at which his ball entered the hazard.
After he took his drop, NBC commentator Johnny Miller called Tiger out. On live TV he said he “can’t live with [himself]” without speaking out and saying he thought Tiger dropped his ball closer to the hole than he should have.
It was strange because there was no way at all to tell where the ball went into the hazard on TV. And after the round, Miller was shouted down by the majority of the golf world, including Tiger’s playing partner Casey Wittenberg.
Wittenberg was asked if it was a shady drop, and he responded:
“No, not at all. I saw it perfectly off the tee. We talked to each other. He asked me exactly where it crossed. I told him I thought it crossed on the corner of the bunker right where he took his drop, and it’s all good. There is no doubt, guys. The ball crossed where he dropped.”
So why did Miller call Tiger out?
Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports said on Twitter that Miller may have been thrown off because the hole was playing 20 yards shorter than usual:
To repeat, yardage on 14 was 461, not 481. He dropped with 253 to flag, so 208 from the tee. That covers a 3 wood pop up hook. #Tiger
— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) May 13, 2013
Maybe Miller saw he had 253 left to the hole, assumed it was playing at 481, and thought there was no way Tiger’s drive could have flown 230 yards in the air before entering the hazard.
All the evidence says it was a totally legal and proper drop.
But because of what happened at the Masters, the golf world (which wanted Tiger to disqualify himself at Augusta) is going to scrutinize every drop that he takes for the rest of his career.
Here’s the water shot. There wasn’t really an angle on TV that let you see where it went in:
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