Masters 2013: Tiger Woods did not consider withdrawing

Masters 2013: Tiger Woods stays in the hunt

Tiger Woods said he never contemplated withdrawing from the Masters despite the controversy over his second-round two-shot penalty.

Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo was among the critics who said Woods should have disqualified himself after taking an incorrect drop at the 15th.

But four-time winner Woods, who shot a 70 on Saturday to reach three under, said he had "abided by the rules".

"I made a mistake, I took an improper drop and got the penalty," said Woods.

"If it was done a year or two ago, whatever, I wouldn't have the opportunity to play. But the rules have changed, and under the rules of golf I was able to play."

The controversial incident happened after Woods's third shot at the long 15th hit the flagstick and ricocheted back into the pond in front of the green.

Woods took a drop, made bogey and eventually signed for a one-over-par 73.

How Tiger Woods got into trouble

"I wasn't even really thinking," he added. "I was still a little ticked at what happened, and I was just trying to figure, OK, I need to take some yardage off this shot, and that's all I was thinking."

Tournament officials initially deemed Woods's drop legal, but decided to review the incident after he said in a post-round interview he dropped the ball "two yards further back".

It was then determined he had violated the rule governing drops from yellow-marked (lateral) water hazards and handed a two-shot penalty.

Historically, that would have meant disqualification as he had signed for the wrong score - a six rather than an eight.

Instead they decided to apply a recent reinterpretation of the United States Golf Association rules,external-link meaning that, rather than disqualifying him, they gave him a two-shot penalty.

The amendment was made to stop players from being disqualified for signing the wrong scorecard when television pictures later showed they had unknowingly moved the ball.

"He should really sit down and think about this and the mark this will leave on his career, his legacy, everything," said Faldo.

"It's just dreadful. Tiger is judge and jury on this. There is absolutely no intention to drop as close to the divot. That's a breach of the rules."

But senior Augusta official Fred Ridley denied Woods had received preferential treatment.

"If it'd been John Smith from wherever he would have got the same ruling," said Ridley, the competition committees chairman of the Masters.

"It is the right ruling. I can't really control what the perception might or might not be. All I can say is that unequivocally this tournament is about integrity."

Tiger Woods Masters penalty: analysis and reaction