You should be embarrassed, pal. The only hole on the entire Augusta Country Club that abuts the National and you managed to strafe it. On your side of the fence, it's the 382-yard, all-uphill par-4 9th hole, which runs perpendicular to the National's 12th. Somehow, you clanked it over two sets of humongous trees and onto the right side of the green. "A great shot for [Sunday's] pin," Woods said with a grin.
Hey, if you wanted to play through, you could've asked.
"Our first reaction was 'Where the hell did that come from?' " said rules official Hugh Campbell. "We thought it might have come from the 13th tee box. But then we realized, perhaps not with players of this caliber."
Campbell wandered over, picked up your ball, looked through the fence for some sign of somebody with a red face, found nobody and pocketed it—a Precept MC 30. "I wasn't going to play it," said Woods. "It's not my brand."
Woods's caddie, Steve Williams, fixed the ball mark, and everybody kept going, if a little warily. Woods and Stewart Cink holed out and then looked some more for you, but you never showed up.
Can't blame you. Nobody around Augusta can remember that happening during the Masters. "I've been here 16 years," said Gordon Jenkins, one of number 12's rules officials. "Nothing even close."
"You ever see anything like that here?" Woods hollered up to Mark (Gomer) Bowden, the longtime 12th hole cameraman for CBS.
"Never," Gomer said.
"I could see it happening," says Augusta Country Club assistant pro Bill Wallis. "A 20-handicapper is hitting about a four-iron in to that [9th] green. If he hits a pretty good slice, cuts it way out to the right, I suppose it could happen."
Is that what you did? Fanned a four-iron halfway to Aiken? Or was it a toed three-wood? Or did you do it on purpose? Maybe got up near the fence, hit a lob wedge over and ran for it? Make the 11 o'clock news, maybe.