COMMENTARY | Golf Channel analyst and Golf.com contributor Brandel Chamblee has repeatedly gone on record as one of Tiger Woods' biggest critics.
As such, it should be no surprise that when he announced his year-end report card earlier this week, Chamblee gave Woods an F for the season.
Ever since Woods' public scandal made national news in 2009, Chamblee has taken every opportunity to point out every single flaw -- real or contrived -- that Woods possesses. In a way, Chamblee should be commended for stepping up to the plate and staying true to his own morals instead of simply brushing aside the bad behavior of golf's biggest star. If nothing else, no one can say that the golf writer is simply another Tiger Woods "yes man."
However, there are two extremes someone can take with a topic like Tiger Woods. On one end, you can be an unapologetic blind supporter of the World No. 1, or you can choose to blindly ridicule and believe every negative word uttered about the man. Chamblee appears to favor the latter.
When Woods was again placed under the proverbial microscope for his alleged rule violations throughout 2013 -- of which there have been more than the average golfer -- Chamblee was chomping at the bit. When Tiger took an illegal drop during his second round of the 2013 Masters, which would later be dubbed "Dropgate," Chamblee exuberantly declared that Tiger should withdraw from the championship out of respect for the game.
There was no discussion about what Tiger's intentions were at that moment. Chamblee simply assumed ill intentions and even went so far as comparing Woods' "perceived" dishonesty on the golf course to what happened on Thanksgiving four years earlier. Seriously. I watched it happen.
When Woods was later penalized at the 2013 BMW Championship for moving his golf ball while clearing away debris, Chamblee's stance that Tiger is a "cheater" was reinforced like fuel on a fire. Chamblee again called for further action to be taken against Woods, this time asking the entire PGA Tour membership to vote against Tiger for Player of the Year. Alas, Woods still won the award, and as well he should.
However, the most troubling judgment that Chamblee has made of Woods came this week when he likened Tiger's year to when Chamblee was caught cheating in the fourth grade. By some stretch of a journalistic imagination, Chamblee expected us to somehow understand how a grown adult who has literally taken an entire sport into the next century could be compared to a delinquent child. Unfortunately, it would appear that was Chamblee's point all along.
As someone who writes about golf every day for a number of outlets, I understand the importance of creating a buzz around a story. It's a part of the job that we all accept. Some are better at it than others. There is also a fine line that resides between "creating a buzz" and "leading a hatred charge."
Brandel Chamblee has slowly inched to the negative side of that line, and, if he hasn't yet, he will eventually cross it.
Adam Fonseca has written about professional golf since 2005. He is also the Staff Writer for the Back9Network. Follow Adam on Twitter at @chicagoduffer.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tiger Woods
- Brandel Chamblee