Golf Digest editors picks

Golf's Costliest Rules Mistakes

A look at the rules mistakes in golf history that have taken a hefty toll

The Masters: Tiger Woods

It's been an eventful 2013 for Tiger Woods thus far -- and that's just when it comes to rules violations. First, he was disqualified for taking an illegal drop at his season-opening event in Abu Dhabi. But that will be a complete afterthought following what occurred during the second round of the Masters. After getting a terrible break with his approach shot on No. 15 hitting the flagstick and bouncing into the water, Woods appeared to save bogey by getting up and down from a similar spot. However, after the round it was determined that Woods took an illegal drop, something he unknowingly admitted to during a TV interview when he said he purposely dropped two yards behind the original spot since he liked that yardage better. Fortunately, Augusta National rules officials decided to assess Tiger a two-stroke penalty and not disqualify the 14-time major champion for signing an incorrect scorecard. How things play out over the final two rounds will determine just how much this mistake winds up hurting Woods, but one thing is certain: A DQ would have been a lot more costly.

-- Alex Myers

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson, 2010 PGA Championship

Dustin Johnson looked to be headed for a three-man playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. However, what he didn't know was he had grounded his club in one of Whistling Straits' innumerable bunkers before his approach shot to the final hole of regulation. Johnson had played from a sandy area outside of the ropes that had been walked through by fans. He was informed of the violation after finishing the hole and the two-stroke penalty ended his championship hopes.
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
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