'Tiger Woods Rule' saves Justin Rose 2 shots at Players Championship

Sam Greenwood

Tiger Woods’ oscillation debate is renewed after the PGA Tour rescinds Justin Rose’s two-shot penalty.

Tiger Woods was presumably at least a couple hundred miles from TPC Sawgrass when Players Championship contender Justin Rose was assessed and then awarded two shots for a penalty that a few hours later the PGA Tour decided was not a penalty after all.

But Woods, despite his injury-related absence, was, as always, part of the conversation after officials on Sunday morning unexpectedly rescinded the punishment Rose incurred when it appeared his ball moved after he addressed it late in Saturday’s third round. The ruling and its aftermath blew up on Twitter, with observers recalling a similar incident at last year’s BMW Championship involving the (still) world No. 1.

Players Championship

Back in September, Woods vehemently disagreed with officials’ determination that his ball changed position after he removed a loose impediment during the second round just outside Chicago. Tiger insisted his ball "oscillated" and did not move, but to no avail, after slow-motion and high-definition technology indicated the ball had in fact shifted.

The edict that saved Rose two shots -- Decision 18-4, or the "Tiger Woods rule," which went into effect Jan. 1 -- could have worked in Woods’ favor as well had it been in force during last year’s FedExCup playoff series. Skip ahead eight months and, as Brendan Porath detailed on Sunday, the Tour, in conjunction with golf’s governing bodies, determined that "without the use of sophisticated technology, it was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye that [Rose's] ball had left its original position and had come to rest in its original place," according to a statement from the Tour.

Bottom line: Woods’ penalty still stands, but Rose, who appeared perplexed about what exactly occurred near the 18th green on Saturday, signed a scorecard two strokes gaudier than when he began Sunday’s final round.

"Under 50 times magnification in the truck, maybe the ball moved a quarter of a dimple toward the toe of the club, which, obviously, if the ball moved, it moved and I get assessed an extra stroke penalty. Whereas, if, in the moment, I would have called the rules official, I would have only been assessed one stroke by moving it back," Rose told reporters after carding what he believed was a 1-over 73 on Saturday but that turned into a 71.

"So, disappointing, but in the same way, I'm glad now that at least the right decision's been made," Rose added. "The ball moved, obviously I made a mistake, it's not a one‑stroke penalty, it's two, but, yeah, I got to just move on tomorrow now."

All that had some social media types virtually scratching their heads.

Others noted that the ruling seemed to give Rose, who blasted out of the gate on Sunday with two birdies in his first four holes and was making a run at 54-hole leaders Martin Kaymer and Justin Spieth, additional impetus.

Still others wondered what fresh hell awaited the boys in Ponte Vedra should Rose end up with the victory.

Woods, meanwhile, was likely waiting back home in Jupiter, Fla., for a thank-you note from the reigning U.S. Open champion, who finished birdie-birdie. His final-round 3-under 69 got Rose to 10-under for the week -- just three shots back of Kaymer, who hung on for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk.

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.