by Jeff Skinner
The Brandel Chamblee/Tiger Woods controversy took another turn yesterday when Chamblee used his Twitter account to apologize for “going too far.”
Chamblee has evolved into one of the most respected and watchable analysts in golf. He’s intelligent, perceptive, knows the game, researches his subjects well and isn’t shy with his opinions. That’s what he gets paid for. He’s not hesitant to take the unpopular view and has often taken Tiger Woods to task.
He acknowledges Tiger’s skill as a golfer but has called for him to fire his coach and go back to a circa 2000 swing that won him so many majors. But in Chamblee’s recent “Report Card” he compared Tiger’s rules issues this season with his own case of cheating in the fourth grade. When I was in the fourth grade, I cheated on a math test and when I got the paper back it had “100” written at the top and just below the grade, was this quote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” It was an oft-quoted line from the epic poem “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott, and my teacher’s message was clear. Written once more beneath that quote was my grade of “100”, but this time with a line drawn through it and beneath that an F. I never did ask my teacher how she knew I cheated and I certainly didn’t protest the grade. I knew I had done the wrong thing and my teacher the right, but I never forgot the way I felt when I read that quote.
I remember when we only talked about Tiger’s golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and … how shall we say this … was a little cavalier with the rules.
Chamblee’s analogy, while provocative, wasn’t far off base. Tiger had a pile of rules controversies this season but it was his final one at the BMW where he was penalized two strokes for causing his ball to move. It was his obstinate attitude in denying the infraction even after video replay showed it clearly had moved that bothered many. Tiger came off looking more arrogant than ever.
So Chamblee lowers the boom on Tiger and the stuff hits the fan. Tiger’s agent fires back at Chamblee with veiled threats of legal action and visions of a Chamblee versus Woods lawsuit titillate the media. Intriguing as it may have been there won’t be any trial but imagine the ratings if there was.
Now, with Chamblee’s Twitter apology maybe this episode will be put to bed. But you can bet that Tiger won’t be sitting down for any one on one chats with Brandel. And hopefully Chamblee won’t feel like he has to edit himself when it comes to Tiger.
Chamblee’s voice on the Golf Chanel is one of the best in the business and it would be sinful if there was any attempt to muzzle it.