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April 13, 2013

Tiger Drop Drama: Augusta fans say 'let him play'

Posted at 5:16 PM by Jessica Marksbury |

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AUGUSTA, Ga -- Despite enduring a two-shot penalty for Friday’s drop heard ’round the world, Tiger Woods is still in the hunt at the 2013 Masters.

When Tiger elected not to withdraw from the tournament on Saturday morning, Twitter exploded with outrage, and a bevy of tour players and international media members called for Tiger to “do the right thing,” and disqualify himself, but it has since become clear that Tiger never entertained the idea of voluntarily ending his quest for a 15th major (and fifth green jacket), controversy or not.

That Tiger broke a rule is undeniable, but does the average golf fan really feel that eliminating Tiger from the field is on par with “protecting the integrity of the game?” According to Golf.com poll, nearly 80 percent of people believe that Tiger deserves to stay in the field.

“I know people are saying that he should do the right thing and take himself out of the tournament, but I don’t believe that for a second,” said Len of Toronto, from outside the front gates of Augusta National. “Tiger absolutely should play. They imposed the rules on him, they gave him a two-stroke penalty, and I have no problem with that.”

“Taking four shots on No. 15 is penalty enough,” said Brian O’Connell of Oakland, Ca.

Westin Bell of Piedmont, S.C. concurs: “If they didn’t DQ him, then I think he has the right to keep playing. It shouldn’t have even been a penalty to begin with because he hit such a good shot.”

“I fully expected him to react that way [and play on],” said Debbie Seymour, an Augusta, Ga. local. “I didn’t expect him to give up. He’s not going to give up for one second.”

Other patrons don’t think Tiger should have been penalized at all.

“My biggest challenge is that we’re using video feedback to gauge golf and I don’t think that’s appropriate,” said Bruce Ahern of Roswell, Ga. “I think that their ruling was out of place. If something is going to happen, it needs to happen in real time.”

Regardless of how Tiger performs through the weekend, one thing is for sure: thanks to some of the strangest rules controversies in years, the 2013 Masters will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons.

(Photos: Getty Images)

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