As much as I can I try to stay away from talking about stories that the golf media create simply because there is nothing else going on in the golf world at the moment, but I can’t help myself but jump in on this Tiger vs Chamblee story.
If you want a good example of how back and forth the golf media is with the top stars, do yourself a favor and look back at the seemingly unbelievable breakdown Rick Reilly put together outlining who could de-throne Tiger. His conclusion was the only person to replace Tiger was Tiger himself! What? Wow! What an amazing insight Rick. The best part was that a few weeks later when Rory started winning Reilly quickly labeled him the next big thing. What about the wonderful world of Tiger you wrote about before Rick? I guess if Rick Reilly can so easily forget about his bold prediction we all should too.
Damon Hack went ahead and stepped over the line, in my opinion, with Rory a while back as well. In the beginning of Rory’s struggles Hack wrote and open letter to Rory. The letter basically questioned Rory’s work ethic, his motivations and his ability to stay focused in the lime light. How is it ok for someone to question these things but it is not ok for one writer to say that Tiger was “cavalier” with the rules this year?
I for one, think that Chamblee is a fantastic broadcaster. He brings a different view to the telecast that I enjoy. He is openly critical of not only Tiger, but all players when he feels it is necessary. Do I think he called Tiger a cheater? No. I think he stated what a lot of other people thought as well. The ruling at the Master’s was one of the strangest in golf history. Tiger openly admitted that he moved the ball backwards on his drop. that alone tells me he intended to give himself an advantage on his drop. Even other players came out and said Tiger should withdraw from the tournament due to the mix up. No one called him a cheater, they just said the rules of golf had been broken and the right thing to do would be to fess up and move on.
Can you imagine the ramification if he had been disqualified or had withdrawn himself? The TV ratings would plummet, the Master’s would be marred in scandal and Tiger would have missed another shot at catching Jack. There was NO WAY the golfing world would let that happen. If you think otherwise you are crazy.
Let’s fast forward to today. Chamblee has apologized to Tiger on air and in writing. I don’t think much more needs to be done from either end and I hope this goes away. The fact that it involves Tiger makes me know that this little feud will never go away as long as Chamblee is on air and commenting on the golf world. It will simply always be a story and I think that is sad.
The last point I will make in this whole rules debacle is the recent incident with Simon Dyson. The article is still up on Golf.com and can be read here. Dyson tapped down a mark on his putting line in direct violation of the rules and was disqualified and is now facing a fine and possible suspension from the tour. Where was this type of action for Tiger’s violation at the Masters? Why is it ok for Dyson to get the full extent of the rules and Tiger not? I firmly believe the rules should apply across the board and in my humble opinion it doesn’t seem like that is happening. It seems to me that Tiger is bigger than the game right now. I understand how much the game of Golf needs Tiger and how much he has done for the game. It can’t be quantified what Tiger means to Golf, but how can we crucify an analyst for pointing out what actually happened? It seems like a case of a slow news day that simply needs to go away.