Special Dispensation?
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The Spectator
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 by Laramie Boyd
2013 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
        Tim Dahlberg said it best in a Palm Springs newspaper. Arguably the world's best golfer, Tiger Woods, didn't win the 2013 Master's Tournament. And thank goodness for that. As Tim said, Tiger has "a reputation as a player who doesn't mind skirting the rules." And it happened again during the Master's. He violated a rule of golf and should have been disqualified, and although he never would come right out and say he should be disqualified, he did volunteer that he committed the act. I guess in his mind there is a difference. Was this the only behavior in Tiger's life that was proven to show a lack of character? We know it wasn't.
       But in the wisdom of the Master's Tournament Committee, even though golf rules state that Tiger's act was grounds to be disqualified from the match, he was assessed a 2 stroke penalty instead. It is true, the Committee does have certain powers of discretion, under special conditions. But none of these existed in Tiger's case. I wonder if the Committee was looking at the financial aspects of not having Tiger in the match, as many golf fans flock to see him play, some to see him win, some to see him lose. The overwhelming attitude of the commentators on TV broadcasting from Augusta, Georgia, was that Tiger should have been removed from the Tournament. It was a no-brainer. He violated a rule. He admitted it.
       And when Adam Scott won out over Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole, Tim Dahlberg again said, "Something happened that doesn't happen when Woods wins majors. Cabrera and Scott walked off the green, their arms locked around each other's shoulders. They had battled to the end, but they were linked together in something bigger. They were class acts in a gentleman's game. And that's something Woods never seems to get."
       Had Tiger Woods won the 2013 Master's Tournament, it would have left an indelible stain not only on the Tournament, but on the Professional Golf of America organization, the Augusta National Golf Club and it's ruling body, and not any less on other professional golfers who have been disqualified for violating a rule of golf. And many of these involved the golfer calling a penalty on themselves. The Committee showed a lack of courage by not following their own rules. Even worse, Tiger would have gained back some of his lost respect if he would have disqualified himself, which is what makes professional golf different, and in some ways better, than other professional sports. But he didn't and hasn't. I wonder what is in the minds of those who stand and cheer for Tiger Woods?