"As close as possible" is just like if he hit the ball OB. If you hit it OB from the middle of the fairway, walk up to it, realize it's OB, and then take the 'walk of shame' back to the original spot, you drop it right next to your divot, not 2 yards back. I'm not one to defend TW but he may have misinterpreted the rule thinking it was where the ball last crossed the hazard and he could go on a direct line, when really, it last crossed the hazard when it rolled back in.
I don't buy the 'not on TV, wouldn't be an issue' argument. However, the Committee looks horrible for their decision. They try to apply a rule but then contradicts themselves by putting out a statement saying they re-reviewed it because of an interview in which the player INTENTIONALLY played the ball from a different spot because it was 'a perfect yardage'.
My opinion, he should be out. Anyone else gets banged on this rule and they're gone. But because the Tournament is in bed with CBS, then they gotta make sure Tiger is still alive.