Did Tiger Woods miss out on easier drop at The Players Championship?
Last Updated: 16/03/19 7:33pm
Tiger Woods saw his hopes of victory in The Players Championship dented by a quadruple-bogey seven at the 17th during the second round on Friday, but he may have cost himself as many as four shots by not taking an easier drop.
Woods hit his tee shot at the famous par-three long and to the left and it rolled into the water behind the connecting walkway to the green.
He headed to the drop zone and promptly found the water once again before finding the centre of the green at the third attempt and then two-putting.
However, due to the back-left pin position and the point where Woods' ball entered the hazard, he did not need to return to the drop zone and could have dropped on the walkway, giving him an outside chance to make a par and a great opportunity to get down in two for a bogey-four.
This was pointed out by Brandel Chamblee on the Golf Channel, where he demonstrated this alternative option for Woods.
Woods was entitled to keep his point of entry into the yellow-staked hazard between him and hole and drop anywhere on that line, and due to the pin position on Friday, there was a direct line for him to drop on the walkway.
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He could have just putted it right up on the green or chipped uphill off a perfect lie," said Chamblee.
"Who knows? Maybe he makes it and saves himself four shots. At the very least, he cost himself three shots. The brain-addling effects of this hole are legendary. Add one more to the legend."
David Duval revealed Woods later informed him that he was unaware of the alternative drop possibility, while Haotong Li also returned to the drop zone in a similar situation later in the day.
"I think the players are so rigid with knowing this is the island green, if you don't hit it on the green you have to go to the drop zone or re-tee it," said Duval.
"With these changes in the rules this became a really good option that frankly the players were just not aware of."
Duval added on Saturday morning: "I texted with Tiger last night. He didn't know. I think in the future they should have a spotter there to let guys know. Because the assumption is you have to go to the drop area. The rules are there to protect the entire field."