April 13 2013
Watson shot a 2-under 70 Saturday at Augusta National. (How/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods wasn't the only one assessed with a penalty on Saturday.
Defending champion Bubba Watson hit his second shot into the water on the 11th hole en route to making double bogey on the par 4.
"Over-cut it, and I knew as soon as I hit it where it was going, it was going to go off those," said Watson, who shot 70 playing alongside longtime marker Jeff Knox in the first group off. "I even told my caddie, I said, 'Oh, that's in the water.' It was going to come off those slopes and go right in the water and that's what it did."
Because of the way it went into the water and with the pin so far back on the green, Watson called for a rules official to figure out where he should take a drop.
Watson took his drop 10 feet right of the drop area after asking where the ball had crossed.
The decision to call for an official, however, had nothing to do with Woods' penalty from the second round that was assessed on Saturday morning.
"I do it anyway," Watson said. "I don't know the rule book. Even if I'm on a cart path I make sure I get a rules official over there, just to make sure I don't do anything wrong."
While Watson didn't know all the particulars of the Woods penalty when he came off the course Saturday morning, he could certainly empathize with the former No. 1.
"I've had a phone call from the U.S. Open before," he said. "So I know what those phone calls feel like"
Watson was referencing the 2007 event at Oakmont, where he a shot off the lead entering the weekend when a fan called in what they thought was a rules violation.
"They said, 'Bubba, you said you double hit it on camera,'" Watson recalled. "And I said, 'No, I did not double hit it. I said I could have double hit it.' I said, 'You have to go back and listen to the tape.' I went right under it, and I made a triple bogey on the hole."
Four years later, Watson won the Farmers Insurance Open. The next day, a fan called in again.
"They tried to say that I did something wrong," Watson said. "But the rules official said, 'No, you didn't.'
"When you're in the high profile situations, you're having a chance to win the Masters, you're going to get cameras all over you. I think it's just one of those things. (Tiger) is a high profile player. It was one of those things where he took a drop that he felt was right. He wasn't trying to cheat anybody. He thought it was right. It's unfortunate for him that he got a two‑shot penalty. But fortunate for him that he's still playing."