Written by Michael Pearson, CNN
Tiger Woods was once docked two shots for hitting the wrong ball, which sparked a bizarre tradition at PGA Tour events. Now golfers have been informed of a rule that could follow him into retirement.
On Tuesday Tiger Woods was “handed” a two-shot penalty for a fender-bender while walking toward his ball at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, which took place over a three-day period.
Although he went on to record a 67 in what was his first tournament since August, the incident was troubling to say the least, with the golf legend removing his hearing aids after he was given a lengthy explanation.
Tiger Woods plays one ball in front of his two during the Hero World Challenge, the golfer’s first tournament since August. CNN/ Michael Powers
He was then informed that he had infringed the rules by the Golf Operations Officials (GOA), which includes Matt Whitaker, tournament director.
Afterwards, he told CNN: “Tiger walked up on that green and called for the left ball. He left his right side to play his left ball — and that’s called an incorrect hit.”
Of his decision to play his left ball, Woods told the Golf Channel: “I knew what to do.”
Tiger Woods also posted an image to Instagram of his two-shot penalty. He wrote that he was “so very sorry to ALL players, volunteers, officials, fans for my behaviour last week.”
The tournament was Tiger Woods’ first appearance since returning to the PGA Tour after injury and an early diagnosis of a partial spine fusion.
Meanwhile, players at the Turkish Airlines Open this week will be warned about unprofessional behavior by golf’s governing bodies.
Players will be warned of these problems, known as interruptions and inappropriate behaviour by way of a new rule: putting one foot in front of the other, hitting the ball before the putter rests or hit out of the fairway.