Ridley's First Glance At Tiger's Drop: "Splitting Hairs"

On the day the USGA and R&A filled up everyone's inbox with a pretty longwinded and not terribly groundbreaking endorsement of the Masters use of Rule 33-7, Michael Bamberger revealed that David Eger was the caller attempting to alert the Masters rules committee to Tiger's improper Friday drop.

What becomes apparent in Bamberger's dissection of the events is that Masters championship chair Fred Ridley actually blundered this in worse fashion than first realized.

At 7:30 p.m., 10 minutes after Woods completed his round, Ridley responded by text to Bradley. Regarding Eger's estimate of three to four feet, Ridley wrote that Woods "was closer than that." To look at it closer, he wrote, would be "splitting hairs." Ridley determined that Woods had done nothing wrong, so there was no point in asking him about the drop.

So he did not get a tip from some Joe watching on television, but from the former top rules guy at the USGA and current Champions Tour player. And when he watched, Ridley concluded there was no reason to even ask Woods about the drop. Yikes!

Also interesting to me is the willingness of Eger, as well as the PGA Tour's Mark Russell and Mickey Bradley to confirm the details on the record, yet as Bamberger points out, Ridley is not interested in talking about what three very knowledgable officials tried so desperately to do to prevent an issue for Tiger.