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Woods given two-shot penalty at BMW Championship

ESPN staff
September 14, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods will play in the same group as Sergio Garcia © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods has been penalised two strokes following his second round at the BMW Championship for an infraction that occurred on the first hole, the third time this year he has been assessed penalty strokes when someone alerted officials to a possible violation.

The penalty was assessed when Woods moved a stick near his ball behind the first green, causing the ball to move. Under Rule 18-2a, that calls for a one-stroke penalty. But because Woods did not replace the ball, it became a two-stroke infraction.

That meant the double-bogey six he made on the hole turned into a quadruple-bogey eight and his score of 70 went to 72. Woods is tied for 13th, seven strokes back of leaders Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk, who shot a PGA Tour record-tying 59.

According to the PGA Tour, Woods was videotaped by a tour entertainment crew. An editor at PGA Tour headquarters going over the footage thought there was movement of the ball and notified the PGA Tour. The film was sent over to tour officials on site at Conway Farms.

Nobody in the group, Masters champion Adam Scott nor Henrik Stenson, was aware of any violation. Woods did not know anything was wrong until after his round, and he was kept from signing his scorecard.

Woods did not speak with reporters afterward as nobody was aware there was an issue. PGA Tour rules official Slugger White said Woods objected to the penalty.

"Tiger evidently hit it over the green and was moving some loose impediments," White said. "He had a pretty large loose impediment behind his ball, which he moved, which was no problem at all. There was a little stick of some kind next to his ball, and when he rolled that, the ball in fact moved.

"He knew there was movement there, but he was very adamant that is oscillated and it stayed there. But this video was at the site, and the ball did in fact move."

When Woods played the first hole, his round was not being telecast on live television. It is unclear who alerted rules officials to the violation, other than the tour video staff that shot the scene.

Twice earlier this year Woods was involved in rules issues that cost him two shots.

The first was at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January, where he incorrectly believed he could take a drop due to an embedded ball. The ball was deemed to be in sand, but Woods was only later told of the penalty when rules officials were alerted to where he played the shot from. The two shots prevented him from making the cut.

He also was penalised for taking an illegal drop at the Masters when he did not play from the proper spot after hitting his ball into a hazard during the second round. A television viewer - who happened to be a former rules official - called in the violation to Augusta National officials, who failed to alert Woods to the possibility of an infraction. That is why Woods was not disqualified, even though he had signed his card. He was assessed a two-shot penalty the following day and ended up finishing four strokes behind winner Scott.

Woods will play the third round of the BMW Championship Saturday with Sergio Garcia, whom he was involved in a high-profile dust-up earlier this year at The Players Championship. It will be the first time they've been grouped together since Garcia uttered his "fried chicken" comment in reference to Woods at a European Tour dinner in May. Garcia later apologised.

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This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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