Tiger Woods disputes 2-shot penalty, draws Sergio Garcia at BMW Championship

Richard Heathcote

Hard to know what angered Tiger Woods more -- the two-stroke penalty he believes he didn’t commit, or having to play the third round of the BMW Championship with Sergio Garcia.

If Tiger Woods thought he was ticked off after missing some short putts during his opening round at the BMW Championship, that was nothing compared with his anger after learning he had incurred a two-shot penalty on his first hole of Friday’s second round.

Woods declined to discuss his situation with the media after officials slapped him with the penalty that occurred as he prepared to hit his third shot on the par-4 first hole from under trees. He breached the rules when his ball moved as he tried to clear away some sticks, or "loose impediments" in golf terms.

Woods believed he compiled a double-bogey on the hole, only to find out when he entered the scoring section some four hours later that a PGA Tour Entertainment videographer’s camera captured his ball doing more than just oscillating, as the golfer insisted it did.

"Tiger ... had a pretty large loose impediment behind his ball, which he moved, was no problem at all, and there was a little stick of some sort kind of obviously next to his ball, and when he rolled that, the ball in fact moved," the tour’s VP of rules and competition Slugger White told reporters after the incident. "He knew there was movement there, but it's like [he was] very was adamant that it oscillated, it stayed there. But this video was at the site, and the ball did, in fact, move. So in that situation, had he put the ball back it would have been a one‑stroke penalty. He didn't, so he gets a two‑stroke penalty."

White met Woods after the round and told him not to sign his card until the two spoke.

"He was a little disbelieving," White said of Woods’ reaction after viewing the video. "I had him look before he signed ... his card, but I told him not to turn it in until I talked to him, and he looked at it, and clearly felt like the ball just oscillated. It's pretty clear that the ball did move."

Woods, who declined to speak with the media after carding a 1-over 72 instead of a 70, could have replaced his ball and received just a one-shot penalty, according to Rule 18-2a. Instead, the two-shot infraction left him seven shots behind co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk, who became the sixth player in tour history to card a 59 after a brilliant day of shot-making.

The two-shot penalty was Woods’ third of this season, including the illegal drop he took in Abu Dhabi, where he missed the cut, and his infamous flag-clanging infringement during the second round of the Masters.

To add insult to injury, the additional strokes to his score put Woods in the same Saturday grouping with his arch-nemesis, Sergio Garcia. The two long-time adversaries have not played together since Garcia made a racist joke about Woods earlier this year, following a series of verbal barbs while playing together at The Players Championship.

Everybody’s favorite fun couple goes off tee No. 1 at 11:50 a.m. on Saturday.

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