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TV A Big Player At The Masters

The Masters golf tournament featured a major player putting its stamp on the tournament Friday afternoon–television. Thanks to a TV viewer and a televised interview, Tiger Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty and was in some danger of being disqualified.

As CBS explained in an on-air interview Saturday with Fred Ridley, chairman of the competition committee, a TV viewer contacted Masters officials Friday to point out that Woods had dropped his ball a couple of yards behind where an ititial shot had hit the flag and caromed into the water.

Woods went on to bogey the hole after repeating the shot from two yards further back.

Problem is the rules state the ball has to be dropped a closely as possible to the original shot, so two yards back seemed out of that zone. If you sign a scorecard with an incorrect score, as Tiger did if he had violated a rule–golfers are supposed to know the rules and either call the penalty on themselves at the time or seek input from a rules official.

But the officials went to the videotape and decided there was no violation. But Tiger later conducted a TV interview in which he said he had purposely dropped the ball back, so they changed that decision and assessed the two-stroke penalty, but not a disqualification, which used to be the automatic penalty.

It isn’t anymore because of rule 33-7, which was put in to address the issue of TV viewers calling in after the fact, according to CBS.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.