Brandel Chamblee stands by sharp criticism of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods received a grade of "F" from Brandel Chamblee for the 2013 season.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 | 3:32 p.m.

The biggest news in golf last week was made when a column written by former Tour winner and current Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee was posted to Golf.com in which Chamblee gave Tiger Woods a "F" as a grade for the 2013 season.

Woods, the world's No. 1-ranked player, was a five-time winner in 2013 -- three more wins than anyone else -- and captured his 11th career PGA Tour Player of the Year award.

Chamblee wasn't giving Woods a "F" for his results, but more for his run-ins with the rules -- four in particular that Chamblee cited in the piece, three of which led to two-shot penalties for Woods.

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Chamblee wrote: "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."

It was that last line that didn't sit well with many, including Mark Steinberg, Woods' longtime agent who threatened possible legal action against Chamblee for suggesting Woods was a cheater -- the worst thing you can call a golfer.

In an Associated Press report published on Tuesday, Chamblee stood firm in his grading of Woods.

As AP golf writer Doug Ferguson noted, Chamblee never actually called Woods "a cheater" in the piece, which was done by design.

"I think 'cavalier with the rules' allows for those with a dubious opinion of the BMW video," Chamblee said Tuesday in an email to the AP. "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."

Chamblee said the reason for the failing mark was because, "ethics matter more than athletics."

All in all, this is a situation that doesn't look to be going away any time soon.

Follow T.J. Auclair in Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.