Meet the man who called Augusta about Tiger Woods' ball drop
Tiger Woods was almost disqualified at the 2013 Masters. Meet the man who called him on Rule 26-1a
Probably some punk kid in California with nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon, right?
Nope. Meet Champions Tour golfer David Eger.
Here's what he told Sports Illustrated about how the whole incident happened as he watched on his TV at home:
"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. 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."
Eger then called a rules official whom he knew was working the tournament. Here's what that man, Mickey Bradley, had to say:
"I was driving on Washington Road and I saw that David was calling, so I pulled over to the side."
SI described how Bradley alerted the officials still on the course (including competition committee chairman Fred Ridley):
"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."
You should read the rest of the story to see how it all played out, but remember this key point that SI described and I've been saying since that Saturday afternoon at the Masters:
"It should be noted that Eger's call saved Woods from disqualification, because it spurred Ridley's incorrect interpretation, which was challenged by Woods's own comments to ESPN, which enabled Ridley to invoke rule 33-7, the one that allows wrongs to be righted."
Eger's the good guy to Tiger fans. He saved Woods' Masters appearance by inadvertantly putting Ridley and Co. on the hook.
I just hope we don't have to go through this again at the U.S. Open.
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