Chamblee stands by Tiger grade and comments

By Doug FergusonOctober 22, 2013, 6:00 pm

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. In an interview with ESPN.com, Steinberg said he would ''have to give some thought to legal action.''

Steinberg did not reply to an email from The Associated Press.

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.

Also in question – at least on Internet blogs – was the drop Woods took on the 14th hole of the TPC Sawgrass during the final round of The Players Championship. Woods checked with playing partner Casey Wittenberg on where to take the penalty drop, which is standard procedure. Wittenberg said it was the correct spot.

Chamblee never says outright he thinks Woods cheated. That was by design.

''I think 'cavalier with the rules' allows for those with a dubious opinion of the BMW video,'' Chamblee said Tuesday in an email to the AP. ''My teacher in the fourth grade did not have a dubious opinion of how I complete the test. But she was writing to one, and as I was writing to many, I felt it important to allow for the doubt some might have, so I chose my words accordingly.

''What people want to infer about that is up to them,'' he said. ''I have my opinion, they can form theirs.''

Video shows Woods' ball move as he tried to remove a small branch from in front of it at the BMW Championship. He maintained it only wobbled and returned to its original position. Woods watched the video in the rules trailer after the round, but still maintained it only oscillated. The tour docked him two shots.

''I don't feel I'm the one that needs to justify the 'F.' The BMW video does it for me, followed by Tiger's silence - until confronted - and then by his denials in the face of incontestable evidence to the contrary of his petitions,'' Chamblee said. ''To say nothing of the fact that he was disrespecting his position in golf, the traditions of golf and his fellow competitors, in my opinion.''

Chamblee, who has developed a reputation of being critical of Woods' swing and golf game, is a contributor to ''SI Golf Plus,'' which is not affiliated with Golf Channel.

Golf Channel declined to comment.

''I suspected there would be the usual assortment of divisive banter about me giving Tiger an 'F,' but as it turns out, it was a slow week in golf, so with no much to do, my column got more attention than it should have,'' Chamblee said.

He was most surprised by Steinberg's comments to ESPN.com.

Woods' longtime agent told the website, ''There's nothing you can call a golfer worse than a cheater. This is the most deplorable thing I have seen. I'm not one for hyperbole, but this is absolutely disgusting. Calling him a cheater? I'll be shocked, stunned, if something is not done about this. Something has to be done. There are certainly things that just don't go without response. It's atrocious. I'm not sure if there isn't legal action to be taken. I have to give some thought to legal action.''

Asked if he was rattled by Steinberg's consideration of legal action, Chamblee replied, ''No.''

''I thought it incomprehensible that anyone with the slightest understanding of libel laws wouldn't know the definition of and the difference between libel and opinion,'' Chamblee said.

Woods was voted PGA Tour player of the year by his peers for the 11th time. He is not expected to play again until a European Tour event Nov. 7-10 in Turkey, followed by his Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on Dec. 5-8 in California.

Chamblee said he did not consider whether the column would jeopardize - or enhance - his position at Golf Channel.

''I'm paid to have and give an opinion, and I work hard to form those opinions based upon facts, not agenda,'' he said. ''I don't always get it right but I'm always trying to get it right. And I know the people I work for know that.''

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.