Tiger Woods avoided penalty for “double-hitting” the ball in the second round of the Hero World Challenge thanks to the rule limiting the use of enhanced video to review possible infractions.
Woods’ tee shot at the 18th hole came to rest under a bush right of the fairway. The 14-time major champion crouched down to play an eight-iron back to the fairway.
Woods eventually walked off with a double-bogey six that, after a flawless prior 17 holes, left him with a three-under par 69 for a two-under par total.
Waiting for Woods as he headed to the scorer’s hut was PGA Tour rules official Mark Watson, who advised officials wanted to look at video review of the shot at 18 after questions as to whether the ball stayed on the club too long.
Woods waited in the scorer’s hut as Watson reviewed footage in the TV compound.
After some 40 minutes, Woods finally emerged to declare: “No penalty”.
“I didn’t feel I made contact twice being such a small, little ball strike in hitting it sideways there,” Woods said.
“Under slow-motion and high def you can see the ball did hit the clubface twice, but in real time I didn’t feel that at all.
“So, there is no penalty.”
Watson confirmed that Woods was cleared of any rules breach under golf’s “limitations on use of video evidence” which came into effect in May of 2017.
“Basically it says if the player did not know that he did that and the only way you can tell that is by using this type of slow motion technology, he’s exempt from the rules, so there’s no penalty there,” Watson said.
“Tiger said that he did not think he hit the ball twice,” Watson said.
“Looking at it in the regular speed on a high-definition television, you couldn’t tell that at all, but when you slowed it down to ultraslow motion high-definition television, you could see where (the ball) did stay on the clubface quite a bit of time and it looked like he might have hit it twice, but there’s no way he could tell that.”