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Tiger Woods misses cut in Abu Dhabi after taking two-stroke penalty

January 18, 2013|By Dan Loumena
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Tiger Woods has missed the cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship after he was penalized two strokes for moving his ball from vines.

He'll join top-ranked Rory McIlroy on the sidelines this weekend -- the first time that both have missed a cut in the 41 tournaments they've played together -- because of the blunder.

It happened at the fifth hole Friday when his drive sailed to the right of the fairway and landed in a thicket of vines. Woods called playing partner Martin Kaymer over to see if he could get relief, and Kaymer agreed the ball had become embedded in the vines.

Unfortunately, European PGA Tour chief referee Andy McFee ruled the ball was embedded in sand and that removing the ball without take a one-stroke penalty for relief would result in a two-stroke penalty, leaving Woods at three-over-par 147 after 36 holes of play, one above the cut line.

“I called Martin [Kaymer] over to verify the ball was embedded," Wood said. "We both agreed it was embedded and evidently it was in sand. Andy ruled I broke an infraction, consequently got a two-shot penalty. Andy feels the way he feels about it and I broke the rules.”

McFee said he talked to Woods about the infraction on the 11th hole after a fan had brought the issue to light. McFee said Woods didn't offer much resistance when they reviewed his ruling.

"An embedded ball relief is through the green but in ground other than sand,” McFee said. “I talked to him when he came off the 11th tee because I couldn't be sure about a two-stroke penalty until we got into the recording area. I don't know the exact spot where he was. I know the area. I would need Tiger to come out and have a look, and he was happy [with the determination that] it was in sand.”

McIlroy could not blame an error in judgment for his early exit from the tournament. He finished his two rounds at six over.


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