NORMAN — Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee says he insinuated that Tiger Woods cheated and gave the world’s No. 1 player an “F” for his five-win season in a column he wrote for Golf.com because “ethics matter more than athletics.”
Chamblee saved Woods for last in his report card of 14 players in a column posted last week. He told of getting caught cheating on a math test in the fourth grade, and how the teacher crossed a line through his “100” and gave him an “F.”
Chamblee followed that anecdote by writing, “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.” He then gave Woods a “100” with a line through it, followed by the “F.”
Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management, the agent for Woods, was so incensed that he released a statement to ESPN.com that accused Chamblee of a desperate attempt to garner attention.
No other golfer evokes such a mixture of praise and criticism than Woods, the main attraction of any sport for nearly 20 years.
Chamblee’s column struck a nerve with many, however, because of the implication that three rules violations and a penalty drop involving Woods amounted to cheating — the strongest accusation possible in golf.
Woods accepted a two-shot penalty in Abu Dhabi for taking relief from an embedded ball in a sandy area covered with vegetation. Augusta National gave him a two-shot penalty for taking the wrong drop in the second round of the Masters. And the PGA Tour gave him a two-shot penalty after his second round of the BMW Championship when video evidence showed that his ball moved slightly from behind the first green.