A former caddie for Tiger Woods said the world's No. 1 player should have been disqualified after taking an illegal drop during the Masters last week at Augusta National.
Steve Williams, who was on Woods' bag for a 12-year span that included 72 victories worldwide and 13 major championships, told 3 News in his native New Zealand that he didn't think Woods was "trying to gain anything on the field" but he should have been DQ'd nevertheless.
"From what I can gather, he took an illegal drop, signed a scorecard and left the course," Williams told the television station. "Under most circumstances that would result in disqualification. ... If the rules of golf are upheld, I believe he should have been disqualified."
Woods was deemed to have taken an improper drop on the 15th hole during the second round last Friday after his approach shot hit the pin and bounced back into the water. He made a bogey-6 on the hole, which the following morning was revised to a triple-bogey 8.
A long-time rule, rarely cited (33-7) was used to waive disqualification because the rules committee believed it had erred in not telling Woods before he signed his scorecard that it was aware of a possible violation.
Williams noted that he didn't fully understand the rule.
Masters officials were first alerted of Woods' illegal drop by a television viewer, something Williams believes should not be allowed.
"I don't think people should be able to phone in and have any kind of effect on a golf tournament," Williams told 3 News. "I don't think people should be able to sit back and have an outcome on a tournament.
"Tiger certainly wasn't trying to gain anything on the field there. Obviously he was frustrated and he mistook the rule between a red line and a yellow line and where you can drop. ... It was a mistake."
Woods went on to finish in a tie for fourth at the Masters. Adam Scott, the player whom Williams caddies for now, eventually won the tournament -- and his first major -- in a playoff against Angel Cabrera.
Williams told 3 News that Scott's triumph -- the first by an Aussie at Augusta -- was especially gratifying because "one of the sole reasons I went to work for him was to see if he could get over that hump."