Meet the man who called the Masters to report Tiger Woods’ drop ball penalty

Tiger Woods takes a drop on the 15th hole during the second round of the 2013 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

Tiger Woods takes a drop on the 15th hole during the second round of the 2013 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2013 Masters was one of the most intriguing golf tournaments in recent memory. We watched a 14-year old actually make the cut and an Australian win it all for the very first time.

However, one of the biggest stories of the entire weekend had nothing to do with either Guan Tianlang or Adam Scott.

Surprise: America was riveted by a situation involving Tiger Woods, probably the only golfer most folks country wide have ever heard of.

On the 15th hole, Tiger took a drop ball that would live on in infamy. The fact that Woods was nearly disqualified and eventually assessed a two-stroke penalty was one thing, however, the refereeing itself was completely another.

[KEEP GOLFING: Urban Meyer needs some help on his swing]

The rest of the nation could not believe some guy on his couch at home was able to get in touch with a Masters official and then manage to get one of the greatest in the history of the game penalized.

Who was this person? Was it just some punk sitting at home all day and night looking for ways to hate on famous people such as Tiger? How did he call up the Tournament in the first place?

As it turns out, the caller was not simply some nobody — it was Champions Tour golfer David Eger. Here’s what Eger told Sports Illustrated about what he saw while watching at home like the rest of us:

“I could see there was a divot — not a divot, a divot hole — when he played the shot the second time that was not there the first time. I played it again and again. I could see that the fairway was spotless the first time he played the shot and there was that divot hole, maybe three or four feet in front of where he played after the drop.”

At that point, Eger called his friend Mickey Bradley, who was working as one of the rules officials at Augusta. What happened next, as well as how it all actually wound up being for Tiger’s benefit, is something we are leaving to SI to explain:

“[Mickey] Bradley immediately called [competition committee chairman Fred] Ridley and Russell, the veteran PGA Tour administrator who is on the three-man Masters competition committee that is chaired by Ridley, a former U.S. Amateur champion and USGA president. Bradley also forwarded Eger’s text to Russell and Ridley. In his text, Eger wrote that Woods ‘didn’t appear to play by Rule 26-1-a.’ He wrote that he ‘appeared to be 3-4 feet back’ from his divot mark.”

“It should be noted that Eger’s call saved Woods from disqualification, because it spurred Ridley’s incorrect interpretation, which was challenged by Woods’s own comments to ESPN, which enabled Ridley to invoke rule 33-7, the one that allows wrongs to be righted.

Let’s recap: David Eger, a Champions Tour golfer, called Mickey Bradley, an official, who called Fred Ridley about the fact that Tiger failed to comply with Rule 26-1-a (doesn’t everyone know Rule 26-1-a? Sheesh).

At that point, Ridley interpreted everything incorrectly, so instead of disqualifying Woods, the superstar was assessed the two-stroke penalty.

So there you have it, the story behind how Tiger Woods’ infamous drop ball penalty was spotted and assessed.

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  • Kirby814

    I hope that dirtbag snitch gets hit by a car

  • Black Knight

    Sounds like a jealous pro who could did not make the cut. Nothing like using his own personal friend to change a match that while it was a mistake, was an honest one. Someone needs to tell this idiot that what comes around goes around and every golfer in the country is going to be watching the next time he plays just waiting to nail him to the wall.

  • shutthedoor

    must be friends with fuzzy!

  • carl6352

    cheating in golf is a gimmee. tiger even admtted he purposely did it for a better lie. we all remember gold finger and his slesinger 7 or judge snells and his better lie from caddshack or gilmore and the run away vw/. tiger just got caught and it cost him two strokes and he signed his card wrong. but since it was woods the show must go on. now a gentlemen of golf would have disqualified himself and moved on. that’s gentlemens golf not played by the pga!

  • MikeK728

    So every shot by every player in every tournament is going to be televised now right? This way everyone has the same scrutiny as those that are on camera with more frequnecy….and can be evaluated by the millions of viewers/ “referees”. That’s the only fair thing if you’re going to allow this kind of thing.

  • theultimateknowledge

    Never heard of David Eger, he obviously needs to get a life. How is it an advantage to take a shot from 4-5 farther than the original? Weak…You can’t and don’t have to shoot from “exactly” the same spot when you you are taking a penalty stroke. Should’ve lost 1 stroke and never even been considered for a DQ. RIDICULOUS!!!

  • Archie mcleain

    So what tiger had a little mishap, there’s still no one as good as tiger.
    Edgar called because he’s not as good as tiger and his envy is pouring out of
    his ears. I wonder how much edger mess up each day, i bet he has secrets,
    let’s all investigate.

  • stoptheworldiwanttogetoff

    I find it interesting that everyone is angry at the fellow who turned Tiger in and not at the fact that Tiger admitted to cheating in order to get a better shot. Says a great deal about this country. No, Tiger didn’t kill anyone However, as an athlete, he is held to a very high standard and he certainly fell short of the mark on this one. Apparently honor and integrity are truly dead and money rules all.

  • Guest

    Isn’t it interesting how we pick and choose the people we want to forgive and those we want to criticize.

  • Larry Dalzell

    hat’s rite, Tiger walks on water! Now is it because he knows where the rocks are at, or because you know what floats?

  • Jim Harper

    The problem with being Tiger Woods, maybe the greatest golfer of all time is that he is constantly on camera 24/7 Everything he does is scrutinized beyond what it should be. I have always been of the opinion that whatever the intent in speaking out is a rat is still a rat.

  • Sid Klum

    Golf really has a bunch of stupid rules.