Altvater: Did Tiger Woods overreact to Brandel Chamblee’s comments?Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Now that some time has passed since the controversy caused by Brandel Chamblee and his cheating remarks on Golf.com concerning Tiger Woods’ brushes with the rules of golf this season, doesn’t it all seem to be a bit much about nothing?
Woods finished at the top of the PGA Tour money list with $8.5 million and won the Vardon Trophy for producing the lowest scoring average on tour. In 16 PGA Tour starts, he had eight top-10 finishes and earned $132,800 for every 18-hole round of golf he played.
He has won 79 PGA Tour titles and it is a fairly safe bet that he will surpass Sam Snead’s record of 82 career wins sometime in 2014. In addition, Woods with $109 million is $36 million ahead of Phil Mickelson with the most career earnings ever on the PGA Tour.
He has secured his place in golf history. The only goal left for Woods is to win five more major titles and surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories.
Woods has come out on the other side of his personal problems, gets all the right images with his children shown on television and is dating a beautiful international athlete to light up the tabloids.
With the help of Sean Foley, he seems to be mastering that seemingly unsolvable mathematical and scientific riddle called a golf swing.
Although he did have some brushes with wrist and back injuries this season, he appears to be in reasonably good health for a 37-year-old athlete walking around on 60-year-old legs.
Woods will be the greatest golfer of all time before he calls it quits. So why get in a shouting match with a media mouthpiece over an insignificant post?
Woods competes in everything, much like one of his good buddies, Michael Jordan.
Phil Mickelson is the guy everyone likes. He smiles for the camera, gives the thumbs up to fans and signs the required number of autographs at ever tour stop. It doesn’t hurt that his wife, Amy, is beloved and a walking public relations magnet for Mickelson.
You haven’t seen any golf fans calling in with rules violations for Mickelson, have you?
No matter how hard he tries, Woods will never pass Mickelson on the popularity scale. But then Phil is never going to get to No. 1 on the Official World Golf Rankings either.
The intense media coverage of Woods’ marital infidelities cost him millions of dollars in annual revenue. His Fortune 500 sponsors dropped him like a hot potato and he is just beginning to recover some of that lost revenue.
A superior athlete like Woods must always be able to blame someone else for his errors. The media makes a great whipping boy for him.
Woods has always had a somewhat contentious relationship with the press. Why should any of that change?
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg railed at Chamblee in the press and threatened lawsuits. Who dares speak out against the king?
In his defense, Woods is under far more scrutiny than any other golfer. His every twitch, scratch, practice swing and spittle are discussed and documented ad nauseam. To assess a two-stroke penalty after multiple reviews in high definition super slow motion and after the round is complete is totally absurd. To have it happen more than once in a season is bordering on the ridiculous.
What other sport allows fans to call in to alert rules officials of possible rules violations and then act on them in an adverse manner?
Did Chamblee exaggerate Woods’ rules violation issues during the season? Probably, yes. But isn’t that what sports writers and announcers do?
Did Woods overreact to Chamblee’s comments? He most certainly did.
The NBC network will televise the Winter Olympics and also owns the Golf Channel. It certainly wants to appease the Woods family, including Lindsey Vonn. The Golf Channel needs Tiger Woods sound bites on its television coverage. NBC will probably need Vonn to sit in the studio and talk to Bob Costas.
So it follows that Chamblee was forced to recant and apologize.
Will that be enough?
With 18 years’ experience and one win on the PGA Tour, Chamblee offers insightful commentary from the journeyman golfer’s point of view.
Don’t be surprised though if NBC decides not to renew his contract when it comes up for negotiation.
Isn’t the best revenge winning more golf tournaments, more majors and more money?
Maybe Mr. Woods should concentrate more on winning major titles than what is said or not said about him in the media.