Brandel Chamblee and Tiger Woods make nice in golf apparently…


By PGA Tour standards Brandel Chamblee was a mediocre golfer, his game pretty much at the level of week to week qualifiers.  As an analyst of the sport, however, in that capacity with the Golf Channel, he has shown himself to be one of the best, and, with his folksy approach and understanding of the game and it’s personalities, certainly one of the most watchable.

Sometimes, due to his folksiness, you do have to stay with him a bit to get to the point.  Such was the case when he told a story about cheating on a fourth grade math test.  He aced the test, getting every answer right and earning a 100 score.  But his teacher discovered he had cheated and drew a line through the 100, replacing it with an F.  Chamblee was presenting his annual grades to players for their performance during the main Tour season this year.  This is where he got to the point, in assessing Tiger Woods’ season, which he very clearly stated was deserving of a 100 grade.

Unlike other analysts, however, and this is one area where Chamblee earns his rave reviews, he doesn’t pander just because the subject happens to be Tiger.  While giving Tiger props for winning five tournaments, and Player of the Year honors, he did point out that, once again, Tiger failed to win a major, extending his drought to six years, and that two of the victories were in Tiger friendly World Golf Championship events, one on the particularly Tiger friendly Firestone course in Akron, Ohio, where every shot and every lie seems to suit Tiger’s eye like no other.  It was at this point that Chamblee apparently overstepped his bounds, drawing a line through the 100 and giving Tiger an F.   He committed the cardinal sin of the PGA Tour.  He became critical of the bread and butter.

Chamblee noted that on a number of occasions this season Tiger, as Chamblee put it, “Was a bit cavalier” with the rules, including in his victory at the Players Championship, where he treated a water hazard as a lateral hazard and dropped his ball about 50 yards closer to the green than he should have without being called or penalized, even with every network announcer on site pointing out the infraction to a national T-V audience.

At the Masters Tiger took an illegal drop that cost him two strokes after the fact, but he was saved the humiliation of withdrawal for signing an inaccurate card because every golf official in sight stepped up to deflect the blame from Tiger.  In a Fed Ex playoff event his ball moved while he was clearing pine straw from around it for a shot from the woods behind the green.  He hit the ball anyway, two stroke penalty, again reported after the fact, when it showed up on video.

In every case Tiger took matters into his own hands, never going through the normal process of checking with on course Tour officials, which, through his implied ignorance of the rules in each case, he would have been well advised to do, just like every other golfer in the field does.

This week Chamblee apologized for his “cavalier” comment.  Why?   It was accurate.  Of course, the Golf Channel is beholding to the PGA Tour, which controls the majority of it’s product, and, as has been demonstrated many times, the Tour has two sets of rules.  Tour rules and Tiger rules, one of which is, no one criticizes the meal ticket and gets away with it.

With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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