Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Woods infraction handled right, most agree

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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods still has a chance to win the Masters, and most of his fellow players seem OK with that.

Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty Saturday before he went out for the third round of the Masters, a ruling that stirred plenty of debate because of the way it was handled by Augusta National.

Woods could've been disqualified for signing an improper scorecard. Steve Stricker was among those who believe club officials got it right, since they viewed a replay of Woods' improper drop while Woods was still on the course Friday and initially ruled he had done nothing wrong. Later, Woods conceded in several media interviews he dropped his ball two yards behind the spot of his original shot at the 15th hole after it ricocheted off the flag stick and into the water in front of the green, breaking the rule.

"They addressed it before he actually signed his card, and from what I understand, they said 'go ahead and sign your card,' " said Stricker, who was one shot behind Woods.

Lucas Glover and Nick Watney both stressed that Woods would never knowingly violate a rule to gain an advantage.

They, too, felt two strokes was the proper penalty. "He's as up-and-up with the rules as anybody," Glover said.

"I believe 100 per cent that he didn't do anything on purpose," Watney said.

But David Duval, who once supplanted Woods as the world's top-ranked player but is no longer a PGA Tour regular, went on Twitter to say his former rival should pull out of the year's first major to make things right. "Was there intent to break the rule is the question," Duval wrote. "I think he should WD (withdraw). He took a drop to gain an advantage."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 14, 2013 B3

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