Tiger Woods began Sunday’s final round of the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open five shots back of leader Jon Rahm, meaning Woods needed to make a big charge to contend for his 83rd-career PGA Tour win and his ninth title in this event.
Woods was playing the par-4 second hole on Torrey South, which hosts the final two rounds, when he hit what appeared to be a perfect approach shot. His 141-yard second shot bounced once on the putting surface and then appeared to go in the hole for an eagle 2 that would get him on the right side of par after a disappointing bogey on the first hole.
And then Woods’ ball spun out of the hole.
⛳️ @TigerWoods nearly holed out from the fairway.
The ball went IN the hole … and came back out. 😳 pic.twitter.com/ikm21gLSju
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 26, 2020
A slo-mo replay of the shot shows how Woods was absolutely robbed. His ball went all the way down into the cup, but it was still spinning pretty hard when it was rattling in the hole. It spun itself out, to the dismay of Woods and his enormous gallery.
Tiger's approach into 2 is even more unbelievable zoomed in. It's nowhere to be found. Goaltending. pic.twitter.com/MIP8Ew7JGT
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 26, 2020
Instead of an eagle 2, Woods was left with an 11-inch tap-in birdie to get back to even par in the final round.
Under the Rules of Golf, a ball is considered in the hole (known as “holed”) when the ball is fully in the bottom of the cup and at complete rest. Since Woods’ ball was not at complete rest when it went fully below the surface of the hole, it was not holed.
The specific language in the Rules says the ball must be “both at rest within the circumference of the hole and the entire ball is below the level of the lip.”
Woods like to use a ball that produces more spin than the average tour player. He uses the Bridgestone Tour B XS ball, which is their tour model that delivers a little more spin and — frankly — is designed around how he wants to play. Usually, it works to his favor. In this ultra-rare case, it didn’t.
Even had he made the eagle, he’d still face an uphill climb to take the all-time PGA Tour wins record from Sam Snead.