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19th Hole

Brandel Chamblee admits he was wrong about Tiger. But who wasn’t?



In this week’s sign that the golf apocalypse is upon us: Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee not only admitted he was wrong generally, but specifically with respect to Tiger Woods.

Chamblee has made his bones as a critic of Tiger Woods since at least his infamous 2013 “season grades” of 2013 in which he awarded Woods an “F” for his “cavalier” attitude toward the rules.

Since that point, Chamblee/Golf Channel saw the wisdom of contrarianism and critical takes regarding Mr. Woods.

Cataloguing Chamblee’s criticism–from Woods’ “self-mutilation” of his golf swing to his supposed mental frailty–is beside the point, however. At issue is the analyst’s expectations for Woods play in his return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, which Woods decidedly exceeded.

“I was wrong,” Chamblee said on air. “I didn’t think he’d come back with this much speed. I didn’t think his swing would be this good. I didn’t think he’d look this good. I didn’t think his irons would be this good.”

Cheers to Brandel for admitting it. And rather than piling on, let’s reflect on what our own expectations were for the 14-time major winner. Who of us saw four pain-free days of play? Who among us saw 180 mph ball speed, roasted 260-yard 2-irons, moonshot fairway woods, precise shot-shaping on approach shots, and flighted wedges?

While Woods’ short game was, on the whole, suspect, and he did fire a few foul balls of the tee, only the most outrageously optimistic among us saw three sub-70 rounds and the type of golf Woods played in our crystal balls.

To varying degrees, most of us were wrong about Tiger Woods, and thank goodness for that.


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  1. Mihaly

    Dec 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Tiger has one very real and powerful ally…History. he still has the best record BY FAR of any tour professional on the books at the moment. As long as he can re-engage his expertise and his back and knee and ankle don’t fail him, he has at least ten years of good playing time to do what needs to be done. If he can win Five Majors, he beats Jack’s all-time Majors record and he beats Snead’s all-time Win record…Five wins…ten years. I would not want to say ‘he can’t do it’. For those of you that think being 42 is old…you obviously haven’t hit 40 yet. 40 is still very young.So is 50 these days.

  2. Gautama

    Dec 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    “Rather than piling on, let’s reflect on what our own expectations were for the 14-time major winner.”

    Pile on I say. Chamblee is unwatchable without a dose of Zofran to settle tue stomach. And one rational comment doesn’t represent a comeback. I say his broadcasting game is fundamentally unsound, and his obsession with self destruction is in his DNA. Plus, all that time spent in front of the mirror perfecting his poofy coif and smug demeanor has consequences. Throughout history, the statistics show us that once a bad commentator always a bad commentator. And lol, I don’t need to be a good commentator to be able to speak with authority on what one is…just look at a Bitch Harmon!

    (Think I missed a few Chamblism’s there, but it’s a start)

  3. moses

    Dec 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Tiger has a long history of putting his naysayers in their place.
    Colin Montgomery
    Nick Faldo

    I really think he is going to win a major next year (if he stays healthy).

    And honestly I was expecting ball speeds in the 160s. 180 is above and beyond what most were expecting.

  4. aaa

    Dec 5, 2017 at 11:26 am

    ME. I was never wrong. I knew he would come back, to a certain degree. After all, he’s who he is, it’s always been in there, he’s got all those records and trophies. His body needed to fixed, as well as his mind. Now it’s a race against time. But he’s still a horrible clueless skirt-chasing loser human, that will never change.

    • Skip

      Dec 5, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      To be fair, I don’t think he had to chase any of those skirts. When you’re worth $1B, the skirts come to you lol.

  5. Amos John

    Dec 4, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Mr. Chamblee should keep in mind that observing greatness does not transfer greatness.

  6. Toby

    Dec 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Woah, easy now – Tiger shoots -8 and everyone goes bonkers. The winner clocks -18. Nice debut, but not exactly frightening. Let’s see what happens when the field is bigger than fifty and the tournament looks less like an exhibition.

    • mb

      Dec 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm


      You take off 21 months and let’s see what you would shoot.

  7. the dude

    Dec 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    all hail BC!…..he’s the best and is needed @ GC

  8. Andrew

    Dec 4, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Wait until the Farmers and revisit the question. Bonehead move by Brandel. What’s new?

    • Al

      Dec 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      One tournament does not necessarily signify a new career.

      • Andrew

        Dec 4, 2017 at 7:39 pm

        Thank you, Captain Obvious. You apparently missed the point of the statement. It’s the first real tournament/real field of the year for Tiger.

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson has been ranked in the OWGR top 50 for 24 years. Impressed?



Animalgolfs points out an interesting end-of-the-season factoid: Phil Mickelson has been ranked inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the past 24 years. Also interesting: Mickelson has never been ranked No. 1.

It’s an impressive accomplishment, even allowing for the fact that the ranking wasn’t invented until 1986, right?

Most GolfWRX members think so.

Grm24 writes

“It’s an amazing number. As with the number total number of weeks Tiger was ranked #1 in the OWGR that will likely never be touched, I do not for foresee any current player finishing in the OWGR top 50 for the next 24+ years. An excellent tribute to Phils longevity and overall play.”

Bye agrees

“That’s seriously impressive, especially when you add in how much the equipment has changed during that time.”

JerseyBoy says

“He’s in my top 5. Love to watch him. And he is doing all that with an Autoimmune Disease which is amazing in and of itself.”

However, not everyone is impressed by the left-hander’s achievement. Ferguson, who is not a member of the Phil Mickelson Fan Club, says (pulled from several posts)

“And this statistic, while worthy of a mention, is not that outstanding when considering it is based on a world ranking system that started in 1986.

“He (Phil) had the skills but never had the potential. He lacked the mental capacity to stick to a consistent game plan week after week, and execute. He made a lot of bad choices.

“Phil was a circus act, replete with pompous showmanship. Sure, he was good for the TV audience – we all like to watch a guy with no self control. He could have been number one had he stopped trying to be so darn fabulous all of the time.”

Eventually, Ferguson says that Mickelson is a great player, one of the top-25 of all-time, but that he sees little value in this particular achievement.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Is Mickelson’s achievement closer to Tiger Woods’ cut streak or “who cares?”

Check out the forum thread and have your say.


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19th Hole

GolfWRX members say “bring back the Skins Game!”



“Anyone else miss the Skins Game?” GolfWRX member Medic wonders. Ah yes, that Thanksgiving-time tradition of Fred Couples fattening his wallet to extreme proportions… The Skins Game hasn’t been contested since 2008, and plenty of GolfWRX members continue to mourn its passing.

Hawkeye77 writes

“…YES I miss it! Back when golf had a season that wasn’t spanning two calendar years, the NFL played 14 games, may hair was still brown, and on and on. Actually, when it stopped including Jack and Arnie I kind of started to lose interest, but now getting some Euros and other world players involved with our guys, could be some fun!”

Bigarch says

“A Thanksgiving weekend staple! The Skins Game was great when there were strong personalities playing. Would love to see it come back, but I don’t know what 4 players have personalities strong enough to make it “must see tv” like Arnie, Jack and Lee could. You need guys doing things on the golf course like Patrick Reed and Rory at the last Ryder Cup. Actually that would be 2 pretty good players to start with. Next let’ss throw in Mickelson who loves money matches.”

Dave230 points out the sad reality underlying the demise of the Skins Game

“Yeah, pity there aren’t more novelty events in the off-season. Skins is such a fun format to watch. But like regular events, they’re very reliant on having well-known players show up. The first Skins game was Nicklaus, Player, Palmer and Watson, four of the greatest to ever play the game. Whereas 2008 was Choi, Ames, Mediate and Mickelson. Just not the same.”

And that’s the sad truth. Most of the players we’d like to see in the Skins Game are earning massively more on Tour than the big draws of the early Skins competitions did. With the overflowing plate that is the PGA Tour season, the Tour’s shining stars are looking for as much rest as they can squeeze in during the holiday season. With no ranking points on the line and likely not competing for much more than a winner’s share elsewhere, the Skins Game has gone the way of the buffalo, sadly.

That is, unless a sponsor wants to step up and offer a million dollars per hole. Phil Mickelson, at least, would be in…Skins Game king Fred Couples, too.

What do you think about the Skins Game, GolfWRX members? Sad that it’s been dead for nearly a decade? Couldn’t care less?

Let us know what you think or join the discussion in the thread.


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19th Hole

These have to be the most callused hands in professional golf, right?



The European Tour is rounding up the best (presumably Instagram) photos of the year as 2017 winds down. With the 13th installment in the series, the Euro Tour presents a photo snapped by Kristoffer Broberg of his countryman Alex Noren.

More specifically, Noren’s calloused palms. These mitts would make a 19th century seaman proud!

Have a look.

The photo’s caption reads in part

“Alex Noren’s hands after a particularly long practice session, the day before the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Noren is known as one of the hardest workers on Tour and has said before that he now often wears two gloves during practice to protect his hands from the effects of hitting hundreds of shots in a day.”

Maybe he should take to wearing two gloves on each hand? On the plus side, he’s got something of a reminder grip, not so much in the grip, but rather in his hands. Just nestle that baby ‘neath your calloused and you’re good to go!

What do you think, GolfWRX members? We’ve all practiced until blistered and bleeding, but have you ever seen anything like this? Is there some unique reason for this level of callusing? Answers needed.

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19th Hole