There oughta be a rule, like 1(a), that says Tiger Woods must make a couple putts IF it would win him a golf tournament. Its application, of course, is highly contingent on Woods being in position to win a golf tournament, which had been such a while it could be the USGA and R&A — in their current revisions — forgot the imperative that Tiger rules apply to Tiger and normal rules don’t apply to Tiger, if it’s a close call, because he’s Tiger.
Where was the rule, or what we always thought was a rule, that says the putts Tiger needs — just two Sunday, was all, in a stretch of 15 birdie-less holes — are supposed to go in?
Woods is at the place where he’s won more than any other golf course — Arnie’s place. which ought to be in Pennsylvania but is in fact in Florida. Tiger’s ball speed is insane, and he swings so hard it makes us wince. Really, just stay healthy through the Masters. That’s enough.
Lexi Thompson has many virtues, one of which is not any kind of luck when it comes to the Rules of Golf. Thompson had a two-stroke lead through 12 holes in the final round of the ANA Inspiration last April, the first major of the 2017 LPGA season. She stepped to the tee on 13 with a two-stroke deficit after officials called her on a violation from the day before, called in by a television viewer who recorded her mis-marking her ball on the green by less than an inch. Thompson was penalized two strokes for the violation and another two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard.
The new Rules of Golf that go into effect in 2019 would have eased Thompson’s pain if they’d been in play last year. The new book reduces the influence of television experts after the fact, and signing an incorrect scorecard when a player couldn’t have known it was wrong will no longer cost two strokes.
Thompson is not in the field for this week’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but the World No. 2 will almost certainly be back at the ANA late this month. She’s tough, ridiculously athletic, and no one will penalize her for having a little edge in her walk.