The PGA Tour announced today that all future tournament courses will be retrofitted with protective nets and a barriers along the fairway and greens to protect patrons from getting hit by wayward Tiger Woods' shots. The barriers will also allow Woods to keep his ball in play more often, increasing his chances of finding the tournament leaderboard again.
"Back when he was dominating everyone, we 'Tiger-proofed' a lot of our courses to prevent him from winning every tournament," said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. "Now that things have changed, I thought it was only fair that we did him a favor and gave him a little bit of help."
Had courses not been "Tiger-proofed" a decade ago, it is likely Woods would have already passed Jack Nicklaus for the most major victories. But now Finchem says the course changes are "more of an insurance liability thing. We can't have people getting drilled over and over by hard, golf balls hurtling through the air. Tiger is going to kill someone."
Woods practiced on two "Tiger-proofed" holes late yesterday, but the nets failed to hold his shots.
"We need to make them a little higher in certain places," said Finchem. "I didn't expect we'd need a 100-foot high net 40 yards off the tees to the right. But we obviously do. Not a problem."
Woods took a 17 on a "Tiger-proofed" Par-4 after his tee shot went over the nets and then he struggled to get the ball pack in play until a ground ball he hit with a pitching wedge rolled just under a barrier near the green.
"I think this will eventually help, but I still need to work on my putting," said Woods after 5-putting for a tredectuple bogey.
The Tour also announced that the cut line in all future tournaments will be set to exactly one stroke worse than whatever score Woods has at the end of a tournament's Friday play.
"Tiger is still, by far, our biggest — and really only — attraction to casual golf fans," said Finchem. "We need him playing on Saturdays and Sundays. People want to see him. Even if it's to see him shoot a 95."