If you caught a glimpse of the BBC?s television coverage on the first day of The Open you will have notice a rules-related incident that was the source of hot debate. Tiger missed the 10th fairway to the left where TV cables were interfering with his stance. The rules official, Alan Holmes (the incoming Chairman of the R&A rules of golf committee) was unable to move the cables so Tiger received a free drop in a favourable position. This was in accordance with a local rule used on all major Tours.

David Rickman, the director of rules and equipment standards has recently made a statement in the media centre explaining that when he visited the scene of the incident, he was able to move the cables. The implication here was that for some reason (maybe the crowd were standing on the cable) Alan Holmes was unable to move them. Tiger Woods was the beneficiary of this.

Having just sat in on the press conference with David Rickman, it seems that this whole incident is a storm in a tea cup. As far as I can tell, Tiger did nothing wrong and the official acted in accordance with the rules. It seems that this is a nothing story that some of the press are trying to spin.

In another rules-related incident, Phil Mickelson also had a favourable drop. After smashing his approach shot right of the second green, the American was forced to take a drop from an unplayable lie under a penalty of one shot. After dropping the ball on a severe bank where it kept rolling towards the green he was forced to place it. Nothing unusual about that. However, after placing it, Mickelson wandered onto the green. As he walked back the ball rolled down the bank. In this situation, the ball has to be played from wherever it comes to rest. Knowing that his ball was working it?s way into a better position, Mickelson started to beckon his ball towards the green. This sort of behaviour really isn?t the done thing, especially at The Open.