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'Not discernible to the naked eye': Woods avoids penalty for possible double-hit

Woods got himself into a spot of bother on the 18th at the Hero World Challenge.

TIGER WOODS FOUND himself at the centre of a rules controversy during the second round of the Hero World Challenge, as TV replays appeared to show he unwittingly played a double-hit on the 18th hole.

Five-under for the day, Woods’ round was sullied by the incident on the final hole, as he drove into a bush and was then forced to stab his ball back out onto the fairway because of an awkward stance.

Bahamas Hero World Challenge Golf Woods eventually signed for a second-round 69. Source: Dante Carrer

Woods — who is hosting this week’s tournament in the Bahamas — appeared to have pulled off a remarkable escape shot, punching the ball out of the busy while on his knees, before finishing the hole with a double-bogey six to slip to two-under for the tournament. 

But Woods then spent 20 minutes in the tournament officials hut after his round as they reviewed slow-mo footage of the incident from various angles, eventually deciding there would be no penalty.

“I didn’t feel like I violated any rules, but the rules official pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, there may be a violation there,’” Woods said afterwards.

“We took a look at it. They were in the truck watching it, trying to determine whether or not I had hit the ball twice. I didn’t feel like I hit it twice. It happened so fast and was such a short motion.

“But under high-def and super-slow-mo you can see it, I made contact twice.…There is no violation, I guess, so I shot what I shot today.”

Speaking to the Golf Channel, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competition, Mark Russell, explained that Wood was not penalised because he intended to make a legal strike and that the double-hit couldn’t be discerned by the naked eye.

Woods is currently two-under through two rounds and in a tie for 15th in the 18-man tournament, eight shots behind leader Spaniard Jon Rahm heading into the weekend. 

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Ryan Bailey

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