VIDEO: Tiger Woods Gifted Free Drop After Odd Sequence Of Events

As Emily Kay noted earlier, Tiger Woods was gifted a free drop -- saving himself a penalty stroke -- after hooking his ball into the trees on the par-5 fifth at Quail Hollow. The story unfolded as such: Woods hooked his second shot over the gallery and into the trees, and the ball could not be found. Ordinarily, this would result in a penalty stroke for a lost ball.

Except Woods was given a free drop because the gallery convinced the rules officials that someone had picked up his ball and scurried off with it. The ball apparently landed in the pinestraw in a relatively clear area, making the story somewhat believable. And so Woods escaped without penalty and even had a clear approach to the green as a result.

Rules official Mark Russell later explained the decision to give Woods a free drop, saying he was convinced someone had taken the ball. Of course no fan volunteered the souvenir -- because why would they? -- so we'll never know where the ball ended up.

Oh, and it doesn't matter anyway. Woods' play has him on the outside of the cut-line, likely heading home for the weekend.

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