So, why was Ian Woosnam penalised only 2 strokes and Jim Furyk penalised 4 strokes? It is Rule 4-4 that stipulates that a player must not start a round with more than 14 clubs. In stroke play the penalty, regardless of the number of excess clubs carried, is two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred, with a maximum penalty per round of four strokes. In match play, at the conclusion of the hole at which the breach is discovered, the state of the match is adjusted by deducting one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred with a maximum deduction per round of two holes. As the Woosnam breach was discovered on the 2nd teeing ground, before a stroke had been made, he incurred a penalty of only two strokes for the breach of the Rule on the 1st hole. At the Barclay's Jim Furyk had already played his tee shot to the par-3 2nd hole when he realised that he had an extra wedge in his bag, which meant that he was carrying 15 clubs. If he had not discovered that he had more clubs in his bag than is permitted until after commencing play of the 3rd hole it would not have affected the penalty, which is capped at four strokes per round in stroke play. However, when a player realises that he is carrying more than 14 clubs he has to immediately declare which club(s) he is taking out of play and if he uses that club or clubs during the remainder of the stipulated round he will be disqualified.
The moral is to always count your clubs on the 1st teeing ground!
Author of ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf’, a book that will help you understand the Rules the easy way.