November 30, 2018

Tiger Finishes Round 2 of the Hero World Challenge at 3-Under-Par 69

ALBANY, Bahamas  — An errant drive on the closing hole spoiled an otherwise splendid afternoon for Tiger Woods on Friday in the second round of the $3.5 million Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas.

Cruising into the par-4 18th at 5-under and without a blemish on his scorecard, the five-time champion blocked a 3-wood into a bush on the right and was forced to play his second shot on his knees. Woods sustained a double-bogey 6 and still finished with a 3-under-par 69, but it could have been worse.

In the scoring area afterward, a rules official informed him a slow-motion replay showed that he double-hit his second shot and actually made a 7. Woods didn’t realize it and a 25-minute review ensued.

Eventually, he was not penalized.

“I didn’t feel like I made contact twice,” Woods said. “It was such a short little shot, I was just trying to hit it sideways there. Under slow motion and high-def, you can see that the ball hit the clubface twice, but there is no penalty.”

That was confirmed by Mark Russell, the PGA Tour vice president of rules and competition.

“Looking at it in regular speed on a high-definition television, you couldn’t tell that at all,” he said. “But when you slow it down, 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.”

Russell based his decision on the Rules of Golf 34-3/10, Limitations on Use of Video.

“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 of slow-motion technology, he’s exempt from the rule,” said Russell. “There is no penalty there.”

On Jan. 1, one of the new changes in the Rules of Golf states that there is no penalty for an accidental double-hit or deflections.

The confusing conclusion marred an impressive outing for Woods, who struck the ball well from tee to green and could have posted a low number. He missed four birdie putts from 12 feet or closer on the front nine and still carded a 3-under 33 by making birdies on three par-5s (3-6-9).

Paired with Hideki Matsuyama, Woods added two on the back side at 14 and 15 and toured the five par-5’s in a combined 4-under.

After missing only one fairway on Thursday, he found nine on Friday, but had added wind to contend with.

“If I would have just putted the way I normally do, this round could easily have been 8, 9 under,” Woods said. “I just didn’t hit the putts hard enough.”

Woods, also the tournament host, has a 36-hole score of 2-under 142 and is tied for 14th in the invitation-only, 18-player field, eight strokes behind co-leaders Jon Rahm and Henrik Stenson at 134.

On Saturday, Woods starts third round play at 11:49 a.m. ET with Bryson DeChambeau.

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the TGR Foundation.