Pundit backs down over Tiger Woods 'cheat' column
Brandel Chamblee says he went too far
Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee said it was mistake to compare Tiger Woods’ rules violation to his own episode of cheating on a school math test and that he would stop writing for the website where his column appeared.
“I said Tiger Woods was cavalier about the rules. I should have stopped right there,” Chamblee in his first appearance on Golf Channel since his column was posted to golf.com nearly two weeks ago.
“In comparing those incidents to my cheating episode in the fourth grade, I went too far,” he said. “Cheating involves intent. Now, I know what my intent was on that fourth-grade math test. But there’s no way that I could know with 100 per cent certainty what Tiger’s intent was in any of those situations. That was my mistake.”
His comments came two days after Woods and his agent, Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports, put pressure on Golf Channel to do something.
“All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward,” Woods said Monday. “But then, I don’t know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. ... So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do.”
Steinberg previously told ESPN.com that he was considering legal action.
Chamblee last week apologised to Woods last week on Twitter for “this incited discourse,” though he didn’t back away from his criticism, and he didn’t apologise outright to Woods during his brief segment on Golf Channel.
Steinberg did not immediately respond to an email on Chamblee’s comments Wednesday night.
In his column, Chamblee wrote of being caught cheating in the fourth grade, and how the teacher had crossed a line through his “100” and given him an “F.” He then wrote, “I remember when we only talked about Tiger’s golf. I missed 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.” He then gave Woods a “100” with a line through it, followed by the “F.”
He said an editor at golf.com asked him to rewrite the ending.
“I wish I would have listened to him,” Chamblee said.
Chamblee, a former PGA Tour player, was a contributor to SI Golf Plus whose columns appeared on golf.com. He said he would no longer write for the publication.
“Tiger and his camp, they’re upset at Golf Channel. They specifically called Golf Channel out,” Chamblee said. “And to me, they’re barking up the wrong tree. This column appeared on golf.com. Nobody here at Golf Channel knew anything about it. ... But all of this has made me realise that there is a conflict and confusion when you work for one company and write for another company.”
He said he would no longer write for any of the Golf magazine properties next year, only for websites affiliated with NBC and Golf Channel.
“That way, if Tiger and his camp have an issue with something I write, they will at least be yelling at the right people,” he said.
Chamblee said it was a 45-minute drive to take his son to school that made him realize he went over the top. He said his son told that if he had been more diplomatic in his observations, that people would be talking more about the issue than his opinion.
“It wasn’t until after he said that that I offered my apology on Twitter,” Chamblee said. “Maybe I should have let my son read this column before I hit send on the email.”