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TV analyst apologizes to Tiger Woods for cheating accusation

The SportsXchange

TV golf analyst Brandel Chamblee on Wednesday took to the air for the first time since accusing Tiger Woods of cheating and several rules violations during the 2013 season.

Chamblee had originally made those accusations in an opinion piece for Golf.com.

"In offering my assessment of Tiger to you and specifically looking at the incidents in Abu Dhabi, Augusta, Ponte Vedra and Chicago, I said Tiger Woods was cavalier about the rules. I should have stopped right there," Chamblee told Golf Channel host Rich Lerner. "In comparing those incidents to my cheating episode in the fourth grade, I went too far.

"Cheating involves intent. I know what my intent was on that fourth-grade math test. But there's no way I could know with 100 percent certainty what Tiger's intent was in any of those situations. That was my mistake."

Chamblee said Golf.com's editors asked him to rewrite his comments about Woods, but he refused to do. As a result, he said he would no longer write for that web site nor Golf Magazine.

"There's a conflict and a confusion when you work for one company and write for another company," Chamblee said. "So going forward I'm not going to be writing for Golf Magazine beginning next year. I'm going to be writing exclusively for GolfChannel.com and NBC.com. And that way, if Tiger and his camp have an issue with something I write, they could at least be yelling at the right people."

Chamblee had said in his op-ed piece that Woods, the No. 1 player on the PGA Tour and a five-time winner this year, deserved a grade of "F" for some of his actions in various tournaments this season.

"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!'" Chamblee wrote.

"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."

Below Chamblee's summary of Woods' play was "100" with a line through it and "F" beneath it.

Earlier in the day, Woods received a big boost of support from fellow golfer Rory McIlroy.

According to Agence France-Presse, McIlroy took Chamblee to task for continuing to claim Woods has cheated numerous times in tournaments over the years.

McIlroy, who is preparing for the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, China, said Chamblee "should be dealt with" and that he believes Chamblee is completely wrong, AFP reported.

"Yeah, I think Brandel was completely wrong. I don't think he has the authority to say anything like that about Tiger Woods," McIlroy, a native of Northern Ireland, said.

"People wouldn't know who Brandel Chamblee was if it wasn't for Tiger Woods, so I am completely against what he said and I think he should be dealt with in the right way."

Woods has tempered his comments on the issue but also said earlier this week that the Golf Channel should deal with Chamblee over his comments, including claiming Woods is "a little cavalier with the rules."

"All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward but then I don't know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not, so then that is up to them," Woods said in Haikou, China where he played against McIlroy in an exhibition match. Woods is not playing in the Shanghai event.

"The whole issue has been very disappointing as he (Chamblee) didn't really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation. But so as far as I am concerned I'm going to put it behind me and move forward, so the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do."

Chamblee attempted to apologize to Woods on Twitter, but then reignited the controversy by claiming he stood by his original accusation in a story for Golf.com.

"What brought me here was the realization that my comments inflamed an audience on two sides of an issue," Chamblee wrote on Twitter last week. "Golf is a gentleman's game and I'm not proud of this debate. I want to apologize to Tiger for this incited discourse."

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, has hinted at potential legal action against Chamblee.

"All we want to do is move forward and whether the Golf Channel moves forward as well, then we will have to wait and see," Steinberg said. "We've now said our piece, and those who know me know that I don't put out statements very often, and I said what I said so let's just see if both parties now move forward."

Woods said earlier that he indeed is still considering legal action against Chamblee.

He also did not accept Chamblee's tweeted and so-called apology.

"All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward," Woods said. "But then, I don't know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. But then that's up to them. The whole issue has been very disappointing, as he didn't really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation.

"So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do."

Woods has not yet responded to Chamblee's televised apology.

Golf Channel has not commented on the controversy.

Woods was assessed 2-shot penalties at Abu Dhabi, The Masters and the BMW Championship. A drop on the 14th hole of the TPC Sawgrass during the final round of The Players Championship was also in question. But Woods' playing partner, Casey Wittenberg, agreed with the spot.

Chamblee has a reputation for criticizing Woods. But the cheating implications stirred a lot of controversy.
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