By admin | April 13, 2013
By Richard Allen
This may well go down asÂ a day in which the folks at the Augusta National Golf Club look back upon with great pride. It is the day in which their prestigious tournament, The Masters, was compared to NASCAR.Â Those comparisons beganÂ come inÂ after a ruling was made on Saturday morning that Tiger Woods would not be disqualified for an inappropriate drop he had taken during Friday’s second round of play inÂ one of golf’sÂ major championships.
After his ball had gone in the water on the 15th hole, Woods had dropped a second ball and continued to play the hole. Later, it was revealed that an infraction had occurred due to the fact that the player had not dropped “as near as possible” to the spot of his previous shot. Since he violated the rule, the former Masters champion signed an incorrect scorecard at the end of his round. That infraction has resulted in disqualifications to many players throughout the history of the game.
But instead of a DQ, officials decided toÂ hand downÂ a two stroke penalty and allow the popular player to continue based on a 2012 rule amendment that allows for such a decision on after-the-fact penalty assessments. To many, the ruling came off as if the tournament were ‘playing favorites’ to keep Woods in competition for the weekend.
Almost immediately, the Twitter social network site lit up with comparisons to previous NASCAR rulings.
Popular NASCAR journalist and Twitter favorite Jeff Gluck(@jeff_gluck) kicked off the conversation by tweeting “Tough call at the Masters this morning. Sitting here wondering what NASCAR would do in this situation.”
Later, Fox analyst Darrell Waltrip(@AllWaltrip) further drew the comparison between the two sports when he posted “fans get upset with #NASCARÂ for making rule interpretations, but it happens in all sports and today it’s happening in the game of #Golf”
PRN announcer Doug Rice(@Riceman61) remembered a famous NASCAR ruling in which a driver lost a race due to a ruling when he tweeted “I laugh at your 2 stroke penalty. I was waxing the field at the Brickyard and got popped for speeding” left a mark, JP Montoya.
Still, plenty of other remarks came rolling in to compare the often ‘Holier-Than-Thou’ Augusta National to NASCAR. “Too bad PGA officials can’t throw debris cautions the next two days to further help Tiger.”opined Andrew Giangola(@MindFloss). And, “The NASCAR rulebook is laughing at golf for making things up as it goes along”came in from Darin Gantt(@daringantt).
A tweet made by Rick Bonnell(@rick_bonnell) and retweeted by Ryan McGee(@ESPNMcGee) said “NASCAR just called the rules of golf contrived and self-serving.”
For my own part(@RacingWithRich), the Tiger Woods incident at Augusta brought back memories of a ruling in which there were claims of favoritism levied against NASCAR that seemed remarkably similar to those levied against officials of The Masters. “Augusta National borrowed appeals official John Middlebrooks from #NASCARÂ to make the ruling. Tiger Woods will not be DQ’d from The Masters.”Of course, that was a reference to last year’s situation in which Jimmie Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus was forgiven of a penalty by a NASCAR appeals official after having initially being suspended.
So yes, it has to be a proud day in the history of the Augusta National Golf Club. Whether you think the Tiger Woods ruling was just or not, you can’t help but notice the similarity to NASCAR rulings of the past. Congratulations to those who arrogantly hold up the ‘Green Jacket’ as if it represents an image of a place and a sport that are beyond comparison to other forms of competition…you are now no different than NASCAR.
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