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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

Pat Perez: The R&A “do it right, not like the USGA”



Pat Perez opened The Open, as it were, with a 2-under 69, and at the time of this writing, he’s 4 under for the second round and tied for the lead.

Clearly, there’s something Double P likes about links golf. And when he was asked whether he was surprised by how receptive the greens at Carnoustie were after his opening round, Perez shook his head with conviction and said.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA…They’ve got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you’ve got the greens receptive. They’re not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn’t. The course is just set up perfect.”

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Pat Perez has no problem speaking his mind. While it has gotten him in trouble in the past, you have to respect his candor. The interesting question, as I asked in the Morning 9, is how many Tour pros agree him?

Sure, it’s unlikely any of Perez’s compatriots will join him publicly in his “R&A does it right, USGA does it wrong” stance, but it’d be very interesting to know what percentage are of the same mind.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon



Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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19th Hole

Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form



Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.


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19th Hole