David Eger — Getty Images
Of the tens of millions of people that tune in each day to the Masters, one person called in on Tiger Woods during his second round at Augusta National to report a penalty.
Rumors flew around of who it might have been, even landing on the ex-boyfriend of Tiger's current lady, Lindsey Vonn. So who really called in? A professional golfer.
David Eger, a 61-year-old Champions Tour player who has won four times in his career on the over-50 tour, was the man that rang a tournament official he knew working for the Masters to tell of the illegal drop he thought Woods took.
"I could see there was a divot -- not a divot, a divot hole -- when he played the shot the second time that was not there the first time," Eger said. "I played it again and again. I could see that the fairway was spotless the first time he played the shot and there was that divot hole, maybe three or four feet in front of where he played after the drop."
The funny thing about Eger is he isn't just a great golfer, but a former tournament director. He worked for the PGA Tour and the USGA and according to SI is "one of the most experienced tournament officials in U.S. golf and an expert on the rules."
I guess it was a bad day for Tiger Woods that Eger was tuning in to watch golf.
So now the question is, how did Eger know who to call to report the supposed violation? No big deal, he just scrolled through his cell phone and rang Mickey Bradley, a rules official he knew was working the Masters.
Bradley immediately called Ridley and Russell, the veteran PGA Tour administrator who is on the three-man Masters competition committee that is chaired by Ridley, a former U.S. Amateur champion and USGA president. Bradley also forwarded Eger's text to Russell and Ridley. In his text, Eger wrote that Woods "didn't appear to play by Rule 26-1-a." He wrote that he "appeared to be 3-4 feet back" from his divot mark.
Bradley forwarded Eger's text message at 6:59 p.m. Tiger was still on the course.
It's a pretty incredible story about how the whole thing went down, and definitely worth the read. People complain that viewers have too much control of what is happening on the golf course for professional golfers (And i tend to be in that camp) but it's cool that a guy that knew something went wrong tried to act as fast as possible to not only keep up the integrity of the game but to help the guy that violated the rules (in this case, Tiger Woods) before he went out of his way to sign an incorrect scorecard.
The complaint by most was that Tiger did go on to sign an incorrect scorecard, but as the report states, the Masters officials knew of what happened before Woods had finished his round. It was on them to go through the scenario themselves and figure out what to do, so really, it was within the rules for Tiger.
Still, what a crazy first major championship for Woods who went in the big favourite and remains the favourite at next month's U.S. Open. Hopefully Woods avoids hitting any baskets with his approach shots at Merion.