Fittest loser
Article posted: 4/16/2013 5:29 AM

Masters fortunate Woods didn't win this time

Tiger Woods reacts to his approach shot to the 15th green during the third round of the Masters on Saturday. Later he was assessed a two-stroke penalty by the Masters committee, which did not disqualify him.

Tiger Woods reacts to his approach shot to the 15th green during the third round of the Masters on Saturday. Later he was assessed a two-stroke penalty by the Masters committee, which did not disqualify him.

 

Associated Press

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By Mike North

I wrote the other day that the Masters tournament is one of my favorite things to watch and discuss because of the simple majesty of the event. I just don't think there is a more beautiful golf course anywhere.

Now for the first time since I started watching it, with guys in their prime like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, I felt an emptiness because of the shenanigans at Augusta this past weekend.

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No matter which way you lean with your assessment of the 15th hole drop by Tiger, you can't feel the same way about the greatest tournament in the world as you did before.

Did Tiger make an illegal drop? Did he know? Should the committee have given him a 2-stroke penalty? Who was directing the chaos?

At this point, I was wondering what Nicklaus was thinking. Many people seem to think if it happened to Nicklaus -- whether he knew of the illegal drop or not -- he would have disqualified himself.

I'm not 100 percent sure about that, but now that it appears you can do something wrong, possibly break rules and be saved by an amended rule (essentially play a get-out-of-jail-free card), what's there to fear?

The great golfer and founder of Augusta, Bobby Jones, has to be turning in his grave now that there is a way out for the rule breakers. Tiger didn't get disqualified initially because they told him it was OK. Then the next day they gave him a penalty.

How did the committee in the room see nothing wrong, and then an unnamed source saw something wasn't right? Can we say "cover-up?"

Look, let's be realistic -- it's the Masters and Tiger, which spells ratings for CBS and the sponsors.

Hey, I admit, it's more exciting with Tiger in the hunt. I think the committee just thought -- it's Tiger -- let's let it go and move on.

Actually Tiger started the controversy by saying in an interview he wanted to get a better angle and shot.

I'll always love the Masters, but between the rain and the controversy and some bad golf, I believe the Master's committee was praying Tiger wouldn't win. If he had won, there would be a giant asterisk, and that wouldn't be good for the aura of the Masters. If Tiger had won he would have still needed to win 20 majors to beat Jack's 18 because this victory, at least in my world, wouldn't have counted.

The sudden-death overtime with Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera saved the day. Thanks guys!

Program note:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Ch. 50 at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Friday and Monday.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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