Tiger Woods’ illegal ball drop during the second round of the Masters remains Topic A in the golf world, and the victim of the unlucky shot and ensuing two-stroke penalty said he was surprised that the incident stoked heated discussion that shows no signs of losing steam.
“Yeah, actually I am, because I think Fred [Ridley, Masters competition committee chair] explained it pretty well,” Woods told reporters Tuesday after a brief practice round ahead of this week’s Players Championship. “For some reason, evidently, that wasn’t accepted.”
During Friday's play at Augusta, Woods hit his third shot to the green at the par-5 15th and the ball ricocheted off the flagstick into the water fronting the green. He then took his infamous drop, which could have resulted in a disqualification but ended up as a two-stroke penalty.
That incident, Tiger said, turned what could have resulted in his 15th major championship into a disappointing T4 finish, the aftermath of which nettled the world No. 1 for several days afterward.
“That one probably stayed for about a week, until I started back practicing again,” Woods said. “When I was away from it, I was reflecting on obviously the things that I did right but also the things that I did wrong that week. And unfortunately I hit a good shot and got a bad break.
“But I still had an opportunity over the next 36 holes to get it back,” Woods conceded, “and I sort of had my opportunities to do it and I just didn't do it.”
Woods, in case you hadn’t heard, tripped the light fantastic when he accompanied girlfriend Lindsey Vonn to the Met Gala in New York Monday night. The 77-time PGA Tour winner said he was more at ease in jeans and a t-shirt but he attended the glam affair to help his Olympics skier lady friend market a new perfume and makeup line.
“Lindsey wanted to try and grow her brand,” Woods said, “so that was a big thing for her, and I'm supporting it.”
Though observers have suggested he would never even consider showing up at such an event during the week of a major championship, Woods begged to differ.
“I’ve gone to the Golf Writers’ dinner in Augusta,” he quipped, referring to the annual sit-down chat-and-chew that occurs on the eve of the Masters and at which the scribblers’ choices for PGA and LPGA players of the year make brief appearances.