SBD/October 31, 2013/Media

Golf Channel's Chamblee Backs Off Tiger Woods Comments, Resigns From Golf.com

Chamblee said Golf Channel should not be blamed for his Golf.com column
Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee said his recent accusations in a Golf.com column of Tiger Woods cheating “went too far.” Chamblee: “I said Tiger Woods was ‘cavalier’ about the rules and I should’ve stopped right there.” He added, “Cheating involves intent and I know what my intent was on that fourth-grade math test but there’s no way that I could know, with 100 percent certainty, what Tiger’s intent was in any of those situations. That was my mistake.” Chamblee, who denied having a vendetta against Woods, said, “At times, I can be a bit forceful with my opinions and some would say too forceful, too many times. Fair enough. That was obviously the case in this incident.” Chamblee noted Woods and his agent, Mark Steinberg are “upset at Golf Channel, they specifically called Golf Channel out and to me, they're barking up the wrong tree.” Chamblee said, “This column appeared on Golf.com. Nobody here at Golf Channel knew anything about it and my editor at Golf.com asked me to rewrite the ending when I sent it in to him. I wished I would’ve listened to him.” Chamblee: “All of this has made me realize that there is a conflict and a confusion when you work for one company and write for another company so going forward, I’m not going to be writing for Golf Magazine beginning next year. I’ll 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’ll at least be yelling at the right people” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 10/30). Steinberg, in an e-mail yesterday wrote, "Tiger has no further comment on the matter and won't going forward" (USATODAY.com, 10/30).

IN THE ROUGH: CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote Woods made a "bad-guy move" in "trying to use his power and influence ... to get a TV golf analyst fired for something the TV golf analyst didn't even say on TV." The "most powerful golfer in the world, and his agent, are leaning on Golf Channel to fire Chamblee for something he wrote for Golf.com." They could "try to get Chamblee fired from the website -- which would also be a bad-guy move -- but Chamblee's biggest gig, by far, is on the television side." So that is "where Tiger wants to hurt him." Doyel: "All because Chamblee pointed out -- in a creative way -- that Tiger was, shall we say, cavalier with the rules during the 2013 season" (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/28). In San Diego, Tod Leonard wrote, "Fans of golf and Golf Channel should be angry and disappointed if the network bows to the pressure of Tiger Woods and his agent to fire" Chamblee (UTSANDIEGO.com, 10/30).

TWITTER REAX: MSP Sports Founder Tim McGhee wrote on his Twitter feed, “Chamblee continues to back pedal. If he's sorry, he should apologize to Tiger. If not, he should stand by his words. Stop equivocating.” Sport magazine Publisher Simon Caney: “This Tiger-Chamblee thing. Who blinks first? Not much need for the Golf Channel to blink at all though, it seems.” Palm Springs-based KXPS-AM’s Julie Buehler wrote, “Tiger IS lax with rules and HE's offended by Chamblee's comments??? Hoping the Golf Channel has a backbone.” Arizona Daily Star’s Greg Hansen: “Brandel Chamblee outstanding Golf Ch voice/writer. Sad execs crumbled, not backing him v. Tiger."
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