Augusta National never considered booting Tiger Woods from the Masters. And it would have treated any player the way it treated him.
This is what Fred Ridley, chairman of the competition committees, says Saturday afternoon shortly before Woods tees off.
I don't claim to be an expert on golf rules. And after reading the applicable rules, I'm less of an expert.
But because the club didn' disqualify Woods Friday, it couldn't justify disqualifying him Saturday.
"In my best judgement I thought at that point in time (Friday) that Tiger had intended, in fact, to comply in accordance with rule 26-1(a)," says Ridley.
He adds: "I will say that other people may disagree with that, but the point is that our committee looked at the information, we gave it consideration, and we felt that under those circumstances that Tiger had complied with the rules."
The impetus for Tiger's two-stroke penalty was a comment Tiger made after his round. At about 10 p.m. Friday night Ridley, who won the U.S. Amateur tournament in 1975, received a message from CBS about Tiger's comments. Ridley returned to Augusta National and reviewed the interview Tiger did with ESPN.
"And during that interview Tiger had indicated that he had taken a couple of extra yards (on the drop)."
The club did receive a complaint about the drop from a television viewer and investigated it.
"We get dozens of these calls every Masters," says Ridley. "You don't hear about them because most of them do not amount to anything."
He was talking about the calls, not the callers.
It should be noted, however, that %90 of the people who call golf courses to complain about a rules violation live full or part time in the basement of their mothers.
If anybody asks, "What did you do today?" and your answer is "Tattled," you might want to turn off the TV, walk up the stairs and go outside.