Brandel Chamblee is sorry that he compared Tiger Woods to a cheating fourth grader, but stood by his implication the world class golfer has been cavalier with the rules.
The Golf Channel analyst wrote a column on Tuesday grading several golfers, but when it came time to assign a mark to Tiger Woods, he instead attacked the golfer for the several rules infractions he committed. He compared Woods to a fourth grader who cheated on a math test, with the teacher crossing out the 100 and writing an “F” instead.
Tiger Woods has several high-profile incidents of playing outside the rules this year. At the Masters, a sharp-eyed television viewer noticed a rules violation when Woods made an illegal drop, and phoned the PGA to turn him in. Woods was penalized two strokes and dealt a blow in the golf major.
Woods was also accused of distracting golfer Sergio Garcia at the Players Championship by pulling a club during Sergio’s backswing, eliciting a cheer from the crowd. Woods claimed that the course marshal gave him the go-ahead to swing, a claim that was later contested.
For the year, Woods has a total of three rules violations and a penalty drop.
But still, Tiger Woods was so angered by Chamblee’s assertion that he reportedly considered legal action against the analyst. Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent with Excel Sports Management, released a statement to ESPN.com that the analyst was just making a desperate plea for attention.
After writing the column, Brandel Chamblee took to Twitter to apologize.
“My intention was to note Tiger’s rules infractions this year, but comparing that to cheating in grade school went too far,” he wrote.
Chamblee also wrote an email to The Associated Press, noting that he never outright accused Woos of cheating. He referenced an incident at the BMW Championship where Woods moved his ball while trying to remove a branch. Woods said the ball only wobbled, but was assessed a two-shot penalty for not reporting the stroke.
“I think ‘cavalier with the rules’ allows for those with a dubious opinion of the BMW video,” Chamblee said. “My teacher in the fourth grade did not have a dubious opinion of how I complete the test. But she was writing to one, and as I was writing to many, I felt it important to allow for the doubt some might have, so I chose my words accordingly.
“What people want to infer about that is up to them,” he said. “I have my opinion, they can form theirs.”
But Brandel Chamblee also stood by his grade of an “F” for Tiger Woods, calling out the golfer for remaining silent on the incident until confronted and saying he was “disrespecting his position in golf, the traditions of golf and his fellow competitors.”