The 77th Masters continues to be a magnet for controversy, as first Guan Tianlang is penalised with a little used 'slow play' penalty while second, Tiger Woods avoids disqualification for a much more serious offence.
|Tiger Woods cheats - and gets away with it|
Golf's poster child tournament, the Masters, has not had a dream opening couple of rounds. Instead, quite the opposite. Decisions made by those in charge have added to the view that Golf's hierarchy is an archaic, unfair, old boys club, which will drop the hammer of the law on a 14 year old kid whilst protecting one of its bigger money spinners, the latter guilty of a far more grievous foul than the former.
Simply put, 14 year old Chinese future-star in the making Guan Tianlang almost didn't make the cut after having been penalized for 'slow play' by the Masters referee, The decision has been widely criticized by the media, fans and players alike, many of the latter pointing out that the rule is almost never used.
Woods, meanwhile, took a drop shot from a good distance outside the allowed zone, and then, in what is a wonderful mirror into just how arrogant he is, chose to tell everyone he knew he fouled and faulted. Most in the media immediately began to ask, 'Shouldn't Woods be disqualified?'
Incredibly, the Masters is going to let Woods play on with, effectively, a slap on the wrists.
For the Woods apologists out there (believe it or not, there are such a thing as Tiger Woods apologists) who are suggesting that the 37 year old is rightfully in the clear because of the rule that video evidence viewed in retrospect ends with a lighter sentence, not so fast.
The key element here is, Woods himself brought attention to the fact that he had fouled. It is Woods himself who called his foul play to light, not video evidence.
The absolute correct penalty in the situation that unfolded is a simple disqualification for Woods, for cheating. Instead, the old fuddy-duddys in charge have looked at their gross margin percentages, considered a final two days of the Masters without their meal-ticket (Woods) and bent the rules to enable him to continue to play.
This a day after bringing down the house on a 14 year old Chinese kid who took a little too long to select the right club.
What does this all tell us? One thing we can have no doubt about is, once again, Tiger Woods is in trouble for dropping his balls in the wrong place. And, once again, he appears to have got away with it.Follow Cormac on Twitter