Tiger Woods has a love-hate relationship with his PGA Tour colleagues -- or they do with him.
ICYMI, Woods’ approach shot to the green on the par-5 15th hole during the second round of last year’s Masters clanged off the flagstick and ricocheted into the water in front of the putting surface. Tiger proceeded to take a penalty stroke after a drop that ended up being improper, CSI: Augusta ensued, and officials eventually decided not to disqualify Woods for signing an incorrect scorecard but rather added two shots to his round.
Bubba Watson, Adam Scott shoot for No. 1
Even with Tiger Woods on the shelf, the PGA Tour's biggest stars have failed to take his spot as No. 1 in the world. But that's going to change soon, and four superstars could make it happen this week at TPC Sawgrass.
On the one hand, according to more than 200 players who participated in SI’s annual anonymous survey of those who toil in the same fertile vineyards as the injured world No. 1, a majority of Woods’ opponents (52 percent) believe he should have been disqualified from the the event for inking his name to the erroneous card. Others (48 percent), however, would have given Woods the benefit of the doubt -- or recognized what a weekend at the Masters sans Mister Tiger would have meant.
"No," wrote one unnamed player who was not compelled to provide a rationale for his reply. "Nobody would have watched!"
That fellow knew whereof he spoke, given the Tiger-free zone that was Augusta National this past April. With the winner of four green jackets sidelined after his back surgery, TV ratings tanked even as the popular and polarizing Bubba Watson swung for the fences on his way to wrapping up his second Masters title in three years.
Woods’ name came up in another question involving his series of rules rhubarbs last year. While 85 percent of his peers claimed that his "run-ins" with the game’s mandates did not change their opinion of him, one anonymous old guy on the Champions Tour said such an occurrence would have been impossible.
"No," wrote someone we imagine was not Tiger’s pal Fred Couples. "It was already pretty low."
As for those pesky edicts that govern the field of play, 54 percent of respondents believe they know them better than their caddies, while 78 percent of Champions Tour golfers who answered the question said they do.
One, though, was not willing to stake his paycheck on it.
"We both call the official," wrote the player.