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Woods penalized two strokes for rules violation

From Rachel Nichols and Steve Almasy, CNN
April 14, 2013 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Woods says the punishment was fair, adding, "I made a mistake"
  • Woods says he didn't mean to break any rules
  • Official says Woods was "forthright' during meeting Saturday meeting
  • The trouble started when his shot hit the flag stick and bounced into the water

Augusta, Georgia (CNN) -- Tiger Woods was penalized two strokes Saturday after a rules committee deemed he violated one of golf's ball-drop rules during Friday's play, an official with the Masters Tournament said.

"I didn't know I had taken an incorrect drop prior to signing my scorecard," Woods said in a four-part tweet on Saturday. "I understand and accept the penalty and respect the Committees' decision."

On Friday, Woods, a four-time tournament champion, hit a shot on the 15th hole that ricocheted off the flagstick and bounced into a pond. Woods took a drop then bogeyed the hole.

Woods tweets about losing two strokes
Bad ball drop costs Woods 2 strokes
CNN Explains: The Masters

"After being prompted by a television viewer, the Rules Committee reviewed a video of the shot (after the drop) while he was playing the 18th hole," Fred Ridley, the Augusta National Golf Club's competition committee chairman, said in a written statement.

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Brandt Snedeker of the United States waves during the third round of the 77th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 13, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the third day and look back at the second round. Brandt Snedeker of the United States waves during the third round of the 77th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 13, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the third day and look back at the second round.
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At that time the committee determined Woods hadn't broken any rules, but later met with Woods after he described on television where he stood to drop the ball. Woods told reporters he stood "two yards" behind the spot of his errant shot before the drop. Television replays suggested he was a little closer.

Read: Teen sensation Guan makes Masters cut

"So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards further back and I took, tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit," Woods told reporters Friday.

The rule gives three options for making a drop, one of which is to do so as "nearly as possible" to the site of the original shot.

Read: The Tale of Twitter: Augusta reaction

Masters officials spoke with Woods early Saturday morning, Ridley said at a news conference. Woods was "very forthright" and "honest," Ridley said, and it was his best judgment that Woods intended to comply with the rules. The officials watched replays of the shots with Woods, Ridley said.

The committee didn't disqualify Woods for signing an improper scorecard because it made its "initial determination prior to the finish of the player's round."

Woods finished Saturday's round at 3-under par, four strokes off the lead.

After walking off the course, he told CBS -- which is broadcasting the event -- that he feels the punishment is fair.

"I made a mistake," Woods said. "Under the rules of golf, I made an improper drop."

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CNN's Rachel Nichols reported from Augusta, and Steve Almasy wrote in Atlanta. CNN's Greg Botelho and Dan Moriarity contributed to this report.

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