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VietNamNews

Teed Off (Apr.21 2013)

Update: April, 20/2013 - 03:00

with Robert Bicknell

Well, it seems the Australian drought is now over due to the Masters win by Adam Scott in a playoff over former Masters Champion, Angel Carbera. Scott is the first player from down under to win the event, something even Greg Norman was unable to do – on numerous occasions.

Reports on the web claim Norman was so nervous about having three Aussies at the top of the leaderboard that he had to go to the gym until there were only four holes left. As anyone who has met Australians knows – they are a fiercely proud sporting people and this meant a lot to them.

Yes, I had picked Adam Scott to win, so my record of almost never being correct is now kaput: 15 years of pinpoint inaccuracy out the window.

Here in Viet Nam, the only guy who was as happy as an Australian would be Mark Khan, as he is the Mercedes Golf representative in the country and helps organise the Mercedes Cup events. In January 2012, Mercedes-Benz appointed Adam Scott as the international golf brand ambassador.

I appreciate what Adam Scott does on behalf of charity.

He founded the Adam Scott Foundation (ASF) to support disadvantaged young people in his home country. And the foundation receives all the prize money that Scott wins at tournaments in Australia.

The guy is a class act.

Despite getting his life back on track, it seems Tiger Woods is unable to avoid controversy. In this case, it involved what appeared to be an illegal drop which was not called by the officials until a TV viewer at home called it in.

As you might expect, it generated a lot of heat when he wasn't DQ'd (disqualified), but I feel the tournament organisers made the right call.

Tiger hit an approach shot to the green which hit the flagstick and spun back into the water hazard. OK, he can choose from two options:

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped.

But, it seems Tiger blended bits of both options and chose option (a), but went back a bit further than the prescribed distance of "as near as possible the spot from which the original ball was played".

Tiger himself admitted that he dropped two yards further back so he could hit the same shot, but keep it closer to the hole. Unfortunately, the infraction was not called until after the round ended. No rules official made a comment when it happened, so now the tournament organizers are fait accompli to the incident.

Fortunately for Tiger, a penalty of disqualification may in exceptional individual cases be waived, modified or imposed if the Committee considers such action warranted under Rule 33-7.

While many players know the Rules of Golf, most have not read the "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" which, in this case, state: 33-7/4.5. Competitor Unaware of Penalty Returns Wrong Score; Whether Waiving or Modifying Disqualification Penalty Justified

Q. A competitor returns his score card. It later transpires that the score for one hole is lower than actually taken due to his failure to include a penalty stroke(s) which he did not know he had incurred. The error is discovered before the competition has closed.

Would the Committee be justified, under Rule 33-7, in waiving or modifying the penalty of disqualification prescribed in Rule 6-6d?

— Generally, the disqualification prescribed by Rule 6-6d must not be waived or modified.

However, if the Committee is satisfied that the competitor could not reasonably have known or discovered the facts resulting in his breach of the Rules, it would be justified under Rule 33-7 in waiving the disqualification penalty prescribed by Rule 6-6d. The penalty stroke(s) associated with the breach would, however, be applied to the hole where the breach occurred.

As the competition had not closed, the committee could apply the two-stroke penalty and avoid disqualifying Woods. — VNS

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